The race to become the next Mayor of Denver is so crowded and difficult to follow that we thought it might be helpful to provide regular updates about endorsements, fundraising, polling, and other items of interest that took place in the last week.
We’ll try to do this every week, including a mini version of “The Big Line” that explains who we think are the top five candidates at the moment. We’ll do our best to present information that we think is particularly relevant, interesting, or entertaining in relation to the first open race for Denver Mayor since 2011.
March 13: Ballots start going out in the mail
April 4: Election Day
June 6: Runoff election if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote
There are 17 candidates on the ballot. Several others are running as “write-in” candidates, but we’re not counting them because they have no chance of winning.
The Top 5 (This Week)
- Debbie Ortega ↑
- Leslie Herod ↑
- Mike Johnston
- Chris Hansen
- Kelly Brough ↓
This is our estimation of the top five candidates at the moment. Ortega is well ahead in the only public polling that is available (albeit a poll from Ortega’s campaign) and is racking up big endorsements (UFCW, UNITE Here, Colorado Professional Fire Fighters, former State Sen. Lucia Guzman).
Herod picked up the endorsement of former Mayor Wellington Webb this week. Johnston, Hansen, Herod, and Brough are leading the field in fundraising, which is generally a good indicator of support overall — though voters seem to be generally unfamiliar with Brough (see below).
According to polling data released by the Debbie Ortega campaign, she is well ahead of the rest of the field at the moment. Anybody polling below State Rep. Alex Valdez is in trouble considering that Valdez dropped out of the race last week.
Denver voters might think Mike Johnston and Chris Hansen are the same person:
Internet Tube Troubles
According to this confusing Denverite story, Lisa Calderón is having trouble making sure that voters can access her 2023 campaign website rather than the site she had when she was a mayoral candidate in 2019.
“We have a beautiful new website,” Calderón told Denverite. “I love our website. But we can’t get people directed to it in a way that is going to really help push us forward, at least on the internet.” Are there other places you can access a website aside from the internet?
Calderón’s 2019 website was “lisa4denver.com.” Her new website is “lisafordenver.com.” Calderón’s campaign is blaming the problem on a cybersquatter, but this sort of thing happens when you let your domain name lapse.
Some candidates are having trouble figuring out how to use social media. Kelly Brough’s campaign sent out this unfortunately-worded tweet this week:
“This one is owned by a woman of color.” Oof.
Brough’s campaign also sent out a tweet this week about her “homelessness action plan” that didn’t bother to provide a link to said plan…which sort of defeats the purpose of the entire exercise.
Brough’s plan seems rather incomplete anyway, judging by this story from Denverite. Good luck making sense of this word salad from Brough:
“I think what you do is, we tell people: ‘you can’t camp,’ and we have options though. We’re gonna move you to the shelter, the house … people hear, ‘if you’re not sweeping, then you’re allowing camping.’ No, I’m not.”
WTF Is James Walsh?
James Walsh will be on the ballot and won’t have to run as a write-in candidate, which is good news given his apparent difficulty with the English language:
According to his website, Walsh learns people about history and political science at the University of Colorado Denver.