Photos: Scott Gessler votes "yes" on Filipino food, "no" on criticism of his office

Politicians -- they're just like the rest of us! But sometimes, when they eat food, it has a bit more significance than just, you know, lunch. Such was the case with Secretary of State Scott Gessler's noon stop yesterday at the 16th Street Mall's Taste of the Philippines food truck -- whose owner just so happens to be featured in one of Gessler's advertisements encouraging Colorado residents to register to vote.

It was a fun lunch break for Gessler, who continues to face criticism for both his efforts to weed out illegal voters, and even for his campaign dedicated to increasing voter registrations. While some of his critics and county clerks across the state have spoken out against this registration effort, Gessler continually argues that the unprecedented $850,000 initiative targeted at getting more people registered has been a huge success. He is announcing the official results of voter registration today at an 11 a.m. press conference.

And one of the people who played a small part in his ad campaign got a chance to meet Gessler for the first time yesterday -- the last day that Colorado residents could register to vote for the upcoming election. It was also a first for Gessler, who said he doesn't think he's ever eaten Filipino food.

Kathy Gietl, the owner of A Taste of the Philippines food truck on 16th and Champa, served Gessler chicken adobo, manok sa gata and lumpia -- all traditional Filipino dishes. The secretary of state ate his lunch at a small table on the 16th Street Mall, alongside his spokesman, Rich Coolidge.

"It's sort of neat. I've been looking at that poster, and I was like, we've gotta hunt her down and give her a copy of it," Gessler said. "She was great on camera.... It's just sort of neat to meet the people that were in it, who helped us out."

As part of the registration initiative announced in early September, the secretary of state's office launched television, radio, print and online ads.

Here's one of the spots, with Gietl featured at the 0:11 mark.

The ad campaign features an actor, local comedian Jordan Doll, going around the state asking random people he stops if they've registered to vote. Everyone else featured in the commercials are just random individuals -- and for the most part are impossible to track down.

But an intern for Gessler's office was able to find Gietl and her popular food truck on the Mall.

So Gessler decided to have a quick lunch visit with her and deliver one of the posters that features her.

"It's awesome -- I'm all giddy," said Gietl, 29, as Gessler chowed down. "It's great for business...and it's my little fifteen minutes of fame."

She said she was happy to participate in the ad as long as she didn't have to discuss her own political views or which candidate she would be voting for in November.

"A lot of people think voting doesn't matter, but it does," she said, adding that she hopes more people registered to vote because of the commercial.

Continue for more photos and comments from Gessler on his latest registration criticisms.

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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin

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