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Westword: Hancock Has Competition For Denver Mayor

Plenty of Denverites are ready to elect a new mayor in 2019. Should Michael Hancock be worried?

By  of The Denver Post

Michael Hancock looks at the city he has led for more than six years and sees a thriving Denver that has rebounded from the Great Recession, gained national cachet as a millennial magnet and tackled, as best as it can, the challenges that come with a booming population.

He’s eyeing a likely bid for a third term as mayor — an election that is 18 months away, in May 2019. But as time ticks on, Hancock, 48, is finding himself more and more on the defensive.

Last month, outrage greeted a near-downtown coffee shop’s joking sign about gentrification — and it quickly pivoted toward Hancock, as demonstrators sent darts in the direction of city leaders they see as too friendly to developers.

Then there’s the newly created $15 million-a-year affordable housing fund that Hancock has had to defend against criticism that it’s too small for Denver’s needs.

He has also found himself the target of “Ditch the Ditch” activists who are trying to derail the state’s $1.2 billion Interstate 70 expansion project, which Hancock supports, as well as parks lovers who are fighting city stormwater drainage projects on golf courses.

And despite efforts to reform the city’s jails and policing policies, Denver continues to draw criticism as it has paid out more than $19 million in sheriff and police settlements since 2014, largely for jail abuse and use-of-force cases involving minorities.

Two years ago, Hancock waltzed to a second term without an organized opponent. Increasingly, political observers and experts say, it’s looking like he won’t have that luxury in 2019.

Read the full article Plenty of Denverites are ready to elect a new mayor in 2019. Should Michael Hancock be worried? by clicking here.


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