The Mile High City has a strong mayor form of government, and every four years, it holds a nonpartisan municipal election. The ballot is mail-in, and your solitary reporter has already voted.
The first round was on May 7, and the runoff for Mayor and Denver Clerk & Recorder is a week from today.
Our most astute political commentator in Denver is associate solitary reporter Lenny Throckmorton, so, at the crack of dawn yesterday, we were ushered into Throckmorton’s palatial office in a high-rise building in downtown Denver.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock served on Denver City Council for two terms before he was elected Mayor in 2011 when, in a runoff, he defeated Chris Romer, a son of former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer. Many political observers at the time said that Chris Romer ran a poor campaign because his yard signs (yes yes, they DO make a difference!) used the same graphics used by his father, who was elected governor three times. Both Romers are Democrats, and Denver is a blue island in a purple state. Your solitary reporter voted for Hancock in 2011, in the runoff.
In 2015, Mayor Hancock got pretty much a free pass, but your solitary reporter voted for the write-in candidate.
During his eight years in office, Mayor Hancock has very actively promoted hyper-development. Housing prices have soared, scrapoffs are everywhere, construction cranes are also everywhere, and high-rise buildings abound. Gentrification is a serious issue, as well as homelessness. Traffic congestion is on everyone’s mind.
Though Colorado used to be a flyover state, now it seems as though everybody wants to live in Denver. Mayor Hancock believes that a city that is not growing is a dead city.
In the first round on May 7, newcomer Jamie Giellis came in second. Giellis was the president of the “RINO” (River North) registered neighborhood organization. She is an urban planner who has worked overseas. She seemingly came out of nowhere. Her most prominent backer is former Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher, a northwest Denver institution well known for his quick wit. Gallagher has been a State Senator, and he has also served on Denver City Council.
A week from today, Throckmorton tells us, Mayor Hancock will receive at least 60% of the vote. That’s because newcomer Gillies, at a forum in April, said that Denver residents should not have to pay for recycling, which is free. Maybe she meant composting, for which Denver residents pay a modest annual fee.
Far far worse, during the heated runoff, Gillies was asked to discuss the NAACP, but she couldn’t even articulate that it is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; she stumbled while trying to say just that, and got it wrong. Hancock is Denver’s second African American mayor, and his personal story is compelling.
Elsewhere, Donald Trump, mouthing off irresponsibly as usual, publicly disagreed with Japan’s Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, about the obvious nuclear threat from Trump’s close personal friend, Kim Jongun (https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/27/donald-trump-north-korea-1345034).
Abe-san told associate solitary reporter Ko Il-sun, who is based in Seoul, that he is seriously thinking of asking Trump to leave Japan immediately.