June 18 2010, 10:24 AM
In just about any article you find on James Mejía, you're bound to read about the longtime educator's family. "I'm the ninth of 13 kids from an education family growing up in Park Hill. My dad taught high school for 37 years, and my mom, besides raising all of us, had a daycare in our home. "People always ask if it was loud and crazy, but it was just the opposite---very quiet and organized," he told 5280 senior associate editor Patrick Doyle last September. Yesterday, Mejía became the first official candidate to file paperwork in the next race for Denver mayor, reports The Denver Post, which notes that state Senator Chris Romer and Denver City Councilman Michael Hancock have also been discussed as potential candidates. Mejía is currently the CEO of the Denver Preschool Program, and his resume features an exhaustive list of high-profile posts, including for former Denver mayor Wellington Webb, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Agency for Human Rights and Community Relations, the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Governor's Office of International Trade, and the Denver Public Schools board. The election won't be held until next May, but with current Mayor John Hickenlooper a serious contender for the office of governor this fall, Mejía isn't taking any unnecessary risks. "There are others who are already raising money and are waiting for the time for Hickenlooper to win, and then they'll switch races and start running for mayor," the 2009 9News Leader of the Year explains to CBS4. And that isn't the only influence Hickenlooper's race might have on Mejía's campaign. Should Hick lose his bid for guv, Mejía tells Westword, "I think everyone reevaluates."