Denver’s dueling campaigns for mayor barely missed each other Tuesday as they held downtown endorsement occasions with polar-opposite messages.
On one facet of Bannock Road, Mayor Michael Hancock rolled out his greatest weapons on the Civic Middle garden. Former Mayors Wellington Webb and John Hickenlooper reaffirmed their endorsements of the incumbent, underscoring a message of continuity: Collectively, the three males have led Denver since 1991.
Lower than an hour later, challenger Jamie Giellis presided over a rally throughout the road that drew dozens exterior the Metropolis and County Constructing for the disclosing of an alliance, introduced Monday, that proposes an finish to that line of energy.
Giellis’ former main rivals, activist and educator Lisa Calderón and former state Sen. Penfield Tate, endorsed her and detailed a merger of types of their platforms.
Requested by a reporter for her message to Hancock, Giellis replied: “We’re coming for you.”
In only a week, metropolis voters will start receiving mail ballots for the June four runoff. Hancock received 39 p.c of the vote within the Could 7 election, adopted by Giellis at 25 p.c, with the remainder cut up amongst 4 different candidates. The 2 finalists are every now searching for a path to greater than 50 p.c of the vote.
“Doing work within the trenches”
For Hancock, the Tuesday morning speeches at a low-key information convention have been the final word manifestation of the incumbent’s message: Denver has its issues, however they’ve include a number of successes, too — and Hancock has responded to the downsides.
“It’s a brand new election,” Hancock stated, after regrouping from the primary spherical final week. He characterised himself as “the extra skilled candidate who is aware of town, who has helped construct town in partnership with (its individuals).”
Webb spoke of figuring out Hancock in his youth, and Hickenlooper of working alongside Hancock for eight years in metropolis authorities. Hancock received his far-northeast Metropolis Council seat as Hickenlooper received the mayor’s workplace in 2003. When Hickenlooper turned Colorado governor in 2011, Guillermo “Invoice” Vidal stuffed in as interim mayor for six months, earlier than Hancock took workplace; Vidal additionally endorsed his bid for a 3rd time period in a written assertion Tuesday.
“We principally got here up collectively. We discovered quite a bit collectively and we shared quite a bit collectively,” Hickenlooper stated. “Even then … he was pushing for housing, alternatives for everybody. He loves this metropolis and he’s dedicated to serving to others.”
Hickenlooper pointed to mega-projects such because the Nationwide Western Middle as proof of Hancock’s imaginative and prescient. “I believe we want a pacesetter with expertise creating jobs,” he added.
Webb criticized Giellis immediately, questioning how many individuals she had managed in her time as a group growth guide, most prominently main the River North Artwork District.
“He’s not a Johnny-come-lately to this metropolis,” Webb stated of Hancock. “He has constructed up his price by doing work within the trenches.”
Denver’s different surviving former mayor, Federico Peña, hasn’t endorsed on this 12 months’s race.
“All collectively now” turns into actuality
Simply a short while later, Giellis was standing in entrance of a fired-up, sign-waving crowd of about 100 on the civic constructing’s steps. After months of campaigning, she appeared to ship on her marketing campaign slogan: “All collectively now.”
Calderón and Tate — who garnered a mixed 33 p.c in final week’s election — had vital disagreements with Giellis on a number of points. Of their endorsements Monday, neither hid the truth that defeating Hancock was their prime aim.
However on Tuesday, it was “Kumbaya.”
All three talked a few “group of rivals”-style marketing campaign, with Giellis incorporating among the others’ positions, from homelessness to extra transparency in authorities to tighter zoning and growth allowing.
“When Jamie, Penfield and I sat down collectively, we hashed issues out,” Calderón stated. “There was nothing left unsaid. There was no difficulty that we didn’t speak about by way of our variations. However we additionally noticed that our commonalities have been a lot better, together with her dedication to constructing a various cupboard — and guaranteeing that the people who find themselves most impacted by the insurance policies of this metropolis have a seat on the desk.”
She added: “For the primary time in Denver’s historical past, we are able to have ladies main metropolis authorities.”
Tate stated he developed a respect for Giellis’ sincerity on the marketing campaign path: “When Jamie’s speaking with me in these moments, and after we’re in these boards, I hear the actual deal.”
Giellis defended her expertise stage — and pointed to her former rivals’ participation in her marketing campaign as an enhancement: “I come at this job with 16 years of expertise working with native governments, working with group, working in city planning and concrete development points,” she stated. “My associates, (collectively) we now have extra expertise than Michael Hancock ever had.”
Giellis stated she made no guarantees of metropolis jobs to Calderón and Tate, as a substitute asking them to take energetic roles within the marketing campaign and a possible transition. That features bringing in individuals from minority communities the place Giellis’ ties are weaker.
“Past that, I believe they’re two extremely gifted individuals, and clearly, to the extent that they need to be engaged sooner or later administration, that dialog is totally on the desk available,” Giellis stated after the occasion.