Shotgun Willie’s boss to keep his word, run for Colo. governor

Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon, a wealthy strip club owner, may throw a new wrinkle into the Colorado governor's race with a social media-driven, self-funded campaign.

Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon, a wealthy strip club owner, may throw a new wrinkle into the Colorado governor's race with a social media-driven, self-funded campaign.

DENVER — Mike Dunafon made a promise: that he’d run for governor if he could get 60,000 likes on his Facebook page before his 60th birthday in April.

Now he’ll have to keep it.

Dunafon, the libertarian mayor of tiny Glendale whose fiancee owns Shotgun Willie’s, told FOX31 Denver Wednesday that he’s going to run for governor this November as an independent candidate.

He said he’s working on filling out forms and making plans to get the 1,000 petition signatures he’ll need to make the ballot — although when he spoke to FOX31 Denver by phone Wednesday he admitted he was just having a cigar.

“It’s the old put up or shut up,” said Dunafon, who outlined his “60 for 60″ challenge to FOX31 Denver in February. “And I got caught in it.”

Dunafon has already surpassed 62,000 Facebook likes well ahead of his birthday on April 12.

“And we didn’t pay for any of them,” he said. “We could have, but if you do that, the message doesn’t resonate.”

So is Dunafon, a pro-Second Amendment, pro-gay marriage (he officiates a same-sex union in a video on his website) and pro-choice libertarian, doing this as a lark or planning on mounting a serious campaign?

The latter, he said.

“It’s a very serious opportunity and I do believe I could win. I’m not going to get in to screw someone up,” he said, noting that he’s friends with Hickenlooper and many of the Republican candidates.

“I get along well with both guys. I have a good time with John whenever I’m with him.”

Dunafon, who’s first foray into politics involved putting videos on YouTube showing him rhapsodizing about liberty in front of a fireplace, believes the time is right for a candidate who uses technology and social media to bypass the usual party system.

Many of the Facebook likes have been coming from people between 18-25 years old, he noted.

“We’ve got to accept the liberty of everybody. We can’t pick and choose,” Dunafon said. “Will that resonate? I sincerely hope it does.”

Dunafon, who promises to have fun campaigning, is planning a big announcement in the coming weeks.

“Why hide from it? You may not like what I like and I may not like what you like, but if we battle over that we will lose the concept of individual liberty,” he said.