THE MILE HIGH CITY — As a solitary reporter tabulated the results in Denver’s municipal election yesterday evening, Mayor Michael B Hancock was turned out of office by neighborhood activist Larry Ambrose, a last-minute write-in candidate.
Two hundred people are moving to Denver every day, and, generally speaking, they do not want to live in the suburbs.
Viewed by many here as doing whatever high-rolling developers want him to do, and also known for backroom deals to the detriment of the city's parks, Hizzoner thus fell victim to the perils of not paying attention to Denver’s neighborhoods. Hancock also oversaw the payment of millions of dollars in settlements arising from his Sheriff’s Deputies' abuses of inmates — — more than Baltimore City had paid out in similar payments before the Freddie Gray incident in April.
Ambrose, an affiliate faculty member at Denver's Metropolitan State University, promised to converse primarily with civic leaders wanting to take their city back from the developers. “My first official meeting as Mayor-elect, today at 9 AM,” Ambrose explained to the solitary reporter, “will be with all one hundred leaders of Denver’s registered neighborhood organizations.”
Eric Black, a developer married to successful City Council candidate Kendra Black in far southeast Denver, told the solitary reporter that if he can, he will foreclose on Ambrose’s home in northwest Denver, where architect Rafael Espinoza will soon be clashing with Councilwoman Kendra Black. Espinoza handily defeated Susan Shepherd, a former labor organizer who, once on City Council, was viewed as being in the pocket of the developers.
But Louis Plachowski, President of City Park Friends and Neighbors, a registered neighborhood organization, and his wife, Bridget Walsh, countered. “We will man the barricades and protect Larry!,” they said in unison.
The voters also denied Councilman Chris Nevitt the opportunity to succeed the immensely popular and entertaining Auditor, Dennis Gallagher. Instead, they gave the nod to Timothy O’Brien, a CPA. Gallagher, who was term-limited, had previously anointed Nevitt. Look for Nevitt to run for mayor four years or eight years from now. Many thought Nevitt, who is not a CPA and has never conducted an audit, ran for Auditor as a launching pad to run for mayor.