February 22, 2024

Native elections in Denver will happen in lower than two months. Among the many races that voters will resolve embody mayor, metropolis council, metropolis council at-large, auditor and clerk and recorder.

The race for mayor will possible be a heated one, with 17 individuals within the operating as of Dec. 4.

On Thursday, CBS Information Colorado was the media sponsor of the primary mayoral debate, which came about at Regis College.

All 17 candidates have been invited, and all of them participated besides Al Gardner, an IT govt who’s served on a number of metropolis boards, as a result of his daughter had a child earlier that day.

Thursday’s debate was moderated Dominic Dezzutti, an area media and politics analyst.  


Ballots for this election will begin getting mailed out March 13 and the final day to vote will probably be April 4. If no candidate wins greater than 50% of the vote, there will probably be a runoff election on June 6.

As a result of variety of candidates, CBS Information Colorado Democratic political analyst Mike Dino says candidates would possibly solely want 20% of the vote to make it to a runoff election.

Mayor Michael Hancock’s time period is about to run out and he cannot search one other resulting from time period limits.

A full listing of mayoral candidates to date consists of the next:

  • Renate Behrens
  • Kelly Brough
  • Lisa Calderón
  • Al Gardner
  • Chris Hansen
  • Leslie Herod
  • Mike Johnston
  • Aurelio Martinez
  • Deborah “Debbie” Ortega
  • Andy Rougeout
  • Kwame Spearman
  • Ean Thomas Tafoya
  • Robert Treta
  • Terrance Roberts
  • Trinidad Rodriguez
  • James Walsh
  • Thomas Wolf

The talk coated among the matters entrance and middle on most Denverites’ minds. These matters included reasonably priced housing, homelessness, crime, transportation and environmental points.

All 16 candidates in attendance have been in a position to communicate on every matter, which made for a prolonged debate with responses capped at 30 seconds every.

Watch Denver mayoral debate at Regis College by
CBS Colorado on

On the subject of housing, the moderator requested what candidates deliberate to do about the price of housing, particularly for brand new faculty graduates getting into the workforce in Denver.

Rodriguez, a finance skilled and former coverage adviser for the Colorado Division of Pure Assets and Colorado Governor’s Workplace, mentioned he would “speed up” the development of extra and several types of housing.

“Numerous provide and extra whole provide,” he mentioned. “We additionally have to work on alternatives to spice up whole revenue.”

In a rebuttal, Treta — a contractor, builder and architect — requested Rodriguez why, in his place at Blueprint Denver, he did not take into account permitting extra accent dwelling items — equivalent to mother-in-law suites, casitas, yard cottages or storage flats — which Treta says would have elevated housing density within the metropolis.

Rodriguez mentioned analysis into accent dwelling items on the time was nonetheless in early phases and shot again saying the actual concern is incomes amongst Denverites, not housing density.

Given the identical query, Herod — a Colorado state consultant since 2016 — mentioned she moved to Colorado when she was in highschool. The CU Boulder graduate mentioned she wouldn’t have been in a position to afford to reside within the metro space on the time if she needed to pay in the present day’s costs.

She supported constructing extra numerous sorts of housing and on land underutlized by town and county of Denver, equivalent to land owned by Denver Public Colleges and RTD, “so [young people] can afford to reside right here and thrive.”

Wolf, an funding banker who ran for mayor in 2011, mentioned we have to improve the availability of housing to fulfill demand, which he would do, partly, by expediting the approval course of within the planning and zoning committee.

Requested for specifics of his plan by Trata in a rebuttal, Wolf mentioned he would introduce extra synthetic intelligence and machine studying to the constructing allowing course of, saying permits must be “a rubber stamp.”

Ortega, a Denver metropolis councilwoman at-large and Denver Homeless Fee’s first govt director, mentioned she would additionally reform the constructing allowing course of, saying there are a lot of reasonably priced housing requests that want approval.

She additionally mentioned she would assist the development of extra manufactured properties on public land, which she says would deliver the general price of housing down by 40%.

Requested how her plan would scale back prices a lot, Ortega touted an organization that town already works with that she says can construct manufactured properties at near 40% of a comparable dwelling, and that constructing on public land would price even lower than 40% of shopping for personal land.

Roberts, a former gang member-turned-activist, requested Ortega her ideas on public and social housing and a public banking system to assist pay for it. Ortega mentioned among the metropolis’s cash may very well be put in a public financial institution, however a lot of it’s “tied up” already. Roberts additionally mentioned we’d like lease management.

“I believe this is a chance to have a look at how we are able to do issues in a different way,” she mentioned.

Tafoya, civil rights and environmental justice chief and co-chair of the Colorado Environmental Justice Motion Activity Power, mentioned the earlier candidates have been failing to concentrate on individuals of their responses.

“I simply heard 4 individuals reply this query and I do not assume any of it was centered in human beings,” he mentioned, after which instructed boosting monetary literacy, investing in nonprofits who work on monetary literacy and providing incentives to individuals like housing vouchers.

Calderón, the chief director of Emerge Colorado and a college member at Regis College and CU Boulder, mentioned town must strengthen renters’ rights and renters’ help, since about half of Denverites lease: “We want to verify we’ve a everlasting fund to help individuals in paying their lease.”

She additionally mentioned senior owners want extra safety from abusive HOAs and different dangerous actors.

Walsh, a historical past and political science professor at CU Denver, mentioned the extra necessary query to ask is a broader query about wealth inequality within the metropolis, saying he’d be a mayor that helps get individuals the assets they want, “which implies union density, a common primary revenue program that is expanded, it means a minimal wage that is a dwelling wage.”

Spearman, who owns the unbiased bookstore Tattered Cowl and sits on a number of metropolis boards, was requested about making housing extra attainable for the center class, who make an excessive amount of cash to qualify for reasonably priced housing applications, however not sufficient for a lot of properties.

He pitched a program devoted to offering workforce housing, backed by town. “In case you’re a nurse, a trainer, a guide vendor, a police officer, a firefighter, you may now not afford to reside in Denver,” he mentioned. 

Behrens does not have an internet site, and little seems to be identified about her skilled background, however she advisable changing older unused buildings within the metropolis into housing, having employers play a much bigger function in workforce housing and constructing extra accent dwelling items.

“For the younger individuals in Denver, I want to change the foundations about mother-in-law flats so that everyone that has sufficient floor can add one or two flats to a single dwelling,” she mentioned.

Rougeot, an Military veteran and proprietor of a small upkeep firm, mentioned he would rework the allowing course of, eradicate laws that drive up prices and “not [let] corruption and cash” get in the best way of reasonably priced housing.

Johnston, a former state senator, was requested if he supported lease management, to which he mentioned no: “We will construct 25,000 completely reasonably priced items on this metropolis, and what which means is that anybody that lives in a type of items by no means has to pay greater than 30% of their revenue on lease, and which means your lease does not go up except your revenue goes up.”

Hansen, a present state senator, additionally opposed lease management, saying “lease management, in each metropolis, that it has been utilized in, instantly stops the availability and stops the funding.”

Brough, a former head of the Denver Chamber of Commerce and former coverage analyst for metropolis council, additionally mentioned lease management has not labored in any metropolis it has been tried in, and as a substitute pitched a plan to transform unused workplace house into residential items. She additionally mentioned she would construct for-sale apartment items on publicly owned land.

Martinez, a former boxer who owns a enterprise middle in Denver, broke from the earlier candidates, saying we do want lease management: “There needs to be a cap on that state of affairs.”

As a result of variety of candidates and size of the controversy, CBS Information Colorado will present related recaps on different parts of the controversy within the coming days.

You possibly can watch the complete two-hour debate right here.

For extra info on all of the candidates, voting areas, voter registration standing and extra, click on right here.