Michael Hancock and Chris Romer: What's the Difference?

May 5 2011, 8:29 AM

With May 3 behind them, Michael Hancock and Chris Romer have Denver's mayoral race all to themselves. If you didn't submit a ballot in the first round, you can still vote in the June 7 runoff, but that doesn't mean more Denverites will. Turnout may hinge on how much heat the two candidates can generate—and whether they can keep the flames fanned. "You saw three competitive individuals [in the mayoral race]," says go-to pollster Floyd Ciruli (Denver Post). "And without great controversy it was difficult to see the difference between them, so people just didn't care to vote."

Indeed. In the weeks leading up to May 3, Romer's public tiffs with James Mejia (who came in third and won't advance to the runoff) proved dull. Hancock made a point to set himself apart, chiding his opponents' bickering as he rolled out the plan for his first 100 days in office (The Spot).

That platform is now in the spotlight, as the final contenders hone their issues in an attempt to distinguish their campaigns and prevent sounding more like the broken records we heard during debates leading up to Tuesday's election (Post). They're also chasing the endorsements of their former challengers, but Mejia has yet to throw in the towel as he continues to review the unofficial May 3 vote count.

Romer's plan is called the First Five Actions, but both men's strategies include similar goals, if different means of achieving them. 7News cuts to the chase, asking each candidate to express what sets him apart. They say it comes down to time at City Hall: Romer, a former state Senator, thinks his lack of experience at the city level makes him the better choice, while Hancock cites his eight years as a council member.

So far, those differences don't sound strong enough to ignite the kind of controversy Ciruli is looking for.