Former rivals align behind Jamie Giellis as final countdown for Denver mayoral race begins

The three major challengers who scrapped for months on the election trail have formed a single “unity ticket” to unseat Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

On Monday morning, defeated candidates Penfield Tate and Lisa Calderón put their support behind Jamie Giellis, who faces Hancock in a runoff election on June 4.

The first round of the election was on Tuesday. Hancock took 39% of the vote and Giellis took 25% — enough to put them both in the final round.

Calderón and Tate finished in third and fourth place respectively, with a combined 33% of the vote, a promising pool of voters for Giellis.

The question now is whether Tate and Calderón’s supporters will follow them. Some of Calderón’s voters have expressed strong skepticism about Giellis due to her connection to the River North Art District, an influential player in the redevelopment of northeast Denver.

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Calderón herself had questioned Giellis’ social-justice bona fides, but she said that it was time now for change.

In statements released Monday, neither Calderón nor Tate directly praised Giellis. Instead, they described her candidacy as the best means to unseat Hancock, and to address their core issues.

“Waiting out a term-limited incumbent will result in irreversible harm to communities at high risk for displacement. The priority issues of my platform including resolving the housing and homelessness crisis, justice reform and climate sustainability can’t wait,” Calderón said in a news release from the Giellis campaign. “Giving the incumbent four more years to groom a replacement essentially means 12 more years of Hancock through his successor.”

Tate said that endorsing Giellis was “the most appropriate path for me.” As a united group, he argued, the three former rivals “can address the need for accessible, ethical and transparent leadership. The time for change is now.”

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Calderón, Tate and Giellis were scheduled to appear together at a press conference on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hancock rolled out his own set of endorsements on Monday, including a handful of former Tate and Calderón supporters, such as Helen Thorpe, the author and former first lady of Denver and Colorado, among others.

The challengers’ alliance could help Giellis expand her base out of south and east Denver — a key part of her route to …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Politics


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