Denver mayor's money race

Listed here are the top fundraisers in the crowded race to replace Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who is term-limited. (ART: Searchlight Denver website)  

Roughly a dozen candidates have begun to separate themselves from the crowded pack in the race for Denver mayor — at least based on money raised.

While not the sole measure of a serious candidacy, robust fundraising points to a person's viability as a candidate since it shows concrete support — in this case, money — for the individual's political ambitions.       

At the front sits Andy Rougeot, who has so far raised roughly $533,000, according to the latest campaign finance report. Rougeot, an Army veteran and small business owner, loaned his campaign $250,000 in December. He also loaned his campaign $250,000 in July.  

Close behind is Kelly Brough, who hauled in $497,000, while Rep. Leslie Herod came in third at $370,000, according to Denver's Office of the Clerk and Recorder's campaign finance website.

Brough served as president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for more than a decade. 

Not counting help from expenditure groups, Mike Johnston, a former state senator, and Deborah Ortega, an at-large councilmember, collected roughly the same amount — $186,000 for Johnston and $184,000 for Ortega.

Ortega benefited from an additional $10,000 in support from an outside group called Protect Denver's Future.

The fundraising numbers cited in this story do not yet include fourth quarter disbursements from Denver's public financing system. The city's election official is still verifying eligible donations. 

Sign up for free: News Alerts

Stay in the know on the stories that affect you the most.

Success! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Candidates who voluntarily agreed to collect funding in lower amounts and accept contributions only from individuals and small-donor committees can qualify to receive matching money for contributions of $50 or less.  

Denver voters will pick a new mayor in April, as Mayor Michael Hancock reaches the end of his third, four-year term in office. 

The new mayor faces gargantuan challenges magnified by Denver's unique characteristics, notably a homelessness crisis that is spiraling out of control, a housing affordability challenge that is pricing low-income and often longtime residents out and a sense of resignation that soaring crime is here to stay — all happening amidst a population explosion that caught Colorado flatfooted.

The new mayor will also need to resolve lingering problems, including the city's ability to pick up trash on time, as well relatively new ones, notably Denver's snow plow issues. 

Denver's campaign finance system won't reflect money raised by candidates who only recently filed to run for mayor. Here's the Top 12 list:

  • Andre Rougeot — $532,527
  • Kelly Brough — $497,250
  • Leslie Herod — $370,255
  • Mike Johnston — $185,657
  • Deborah Ortega — $184,305
  • Thomas Wolf — $107,695
  • Ean Tafoya — $105,519
  • Chris Hansen — $87,411
  • Terrance Roberts — $71,646
  • Alex Valdez — $47,246
  • Trinidad Rodriguez — $40,812
  • Lisa Calderon — $26,360

Valdez withdrew his candidacy a few days ago, saying he would focus his legislative work.

Denver's general election is scheduled for April 4 — following a voter-approved move from its traditional date in early May — with a runoff scheduled for June 6 in races if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. In addition to mayor, Denver voters will elect an auditor, clerk and recorder and city council members to four-year terms.

Load comments