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October 03, 2011 10:05 PM UTC

Hancock Goes DPS Endorsement Crazy

  • by: Colorado Pols

We’ve previously written about Denver Mayor MIchael Hancock’s endorsement of Happy Haynes in her race to fill the at-large seat on the Denver School Board. Haynes and Hancock go way back: she was a vocal advocate of his campaign for mayor and he’s just returning the favor. It’s not surprising, or risky, really, for Hancock to endorse someone who’s already so closely associated with him and his administration.

Hancock won’t stop there, it seems. From an e-mail we received on Friday:

Dear Friends,

These are challenging times.  Far too many of our children are dropping out of school. Far too many of our children are hungry. Far too many of our children are growing up without an opportunity to grow and thrive.

I truly believe that in the years ahead, whether it is 10, 20 or 50 years from now, people will look back and judge us on our courage, on our wisdom, and on our leadership.

People will not care what side of an issue we were on and they will not care about the labels we assign. They will only care that we did our best – our very best – to live up to our civic duty to create a better future for our children.

I believe Anne Rowe shares the same dedication that I do to building a world-class education system right here in Denver. That is why I am proud to endorse her candidacy for the District 1 Denver School Board.

We understand why Hancock endorsed Haynes in her at-large race. She took a risk early on in endorsing his Mayoral bid, and his subsequent endorsement is really the least he can do. It’s not like it’s a risky endorsement, either; Happy is the frontrunner by leaps and bounds over her four competitors. Hancock’s not really taking a chance in burning any bridges because that race has so many candidates; it’s not a grudge match.

It is curious, however, that Hancock is endorsing in the District 1 race between Rowe and her opponent Emily Sirota. Sirota, wife of politico, columnist, and drive-time talk radio host David Sirota, is definitely going to give Rowe a run for her money. Sirota might even beat Rowe. Unlike Haynes’ race, where Hancock is more or less endorsing the candidate most likely to win, the Hancock-endorsed candidate could lose. Imagine if Rowe did lose. That’s embarrassing for any Mayor, but critically embarrassing for someone inaugurated four months ago. Hancock’s acting like he has all the sway that John Hickenlooper had after years on the job. He doesn’t, and one guaranteed way to lose a lot of political clout is to endorse candidates who don’t win. Hancock just gave himself an even greater incentive to campaign for Haynes and Rowe; it’s going to look really bad if either end up in second place on election day.  


5 thoughts on “Hancock Goes DPS Endorsement Crazy

  1. Really?  Based on what?  Is there some polling to support this, or did you pull it out of somewhere dark and smelly?

    Sirota’s campaign is no more impressive than her husband’s column and radio show, and has so far been largely based on smearing her opponent with lies.

    Maybe Hancock chose to endorse the better candidate.  Maybe he thinks his endorsement can make the difference in a low-profile race.

    Is there anything factual to back up this diary, or is it just mental masturbation?

    1. Do we have evidence to support a statement that Sirota might beat Rowe? No more than there is any evidence to support that Rowe might beat Sirota. Nobody is making a prediction here. It’s a school board race, not a fight for the U.S. Senate, for chrissakes.

      You’re missing the point of this post anyway, which is that we think it’s unwise for Hancock to be making a lot of endorsements in any race when he hasn’t even been in office for three months. The candidates involved here are secondary to the main point — that this is not politically smart for Hancock. If Rowe wins, Hancock won’t get much credit because it’s a low-profile race. But if she loses, it will damage (slightly, but damage nonetheless) Hancock’s political clout. There’s no upside here.  

      1. Like getting a school board filled with members he feels are more qualified than their opponents?

        Get your eyes off the horse race and back where they belong, on governance.  A mayor wants success for the city.  Maybe he believes Rowe offers a better opportunity for that re: schools than Sirota.  Like Dan says, who’s paying that much attention that this is going to effect his ability to get anything done anyway?  Advocating for people he wants to work with to give the city and its schools the best chances at success should be the focus, not political calculation down to the millimeter.

  2. I seriously doubt that anyone will even remember who Hancock endorsed in these races excpet the candidates themselves.

    By next year, most people won’t even know who won, let alone who was running.

    Just part of the “most thankless elected office” of school board member.

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