2011 Mayoral Race: More Endorsements and Touchy Forums Keep Candidates on Similar Ground, but Michael Hancock Pulls Ahead in Latest Poll

May 13 2011, 8:54 AM

Denver mayoral candidates Michael Hancock and Chris Romer have been trotting out various high-profile endorsements in their race to the June 7 runoff election, from recent campaign foes like James Mejia to former Governor Bill Ritter, but it's hard to say how much of an impact—if any—they're having on the men's voter appeal.

According to a new poll by RBI Strategies and Colorado Pols, the results give Hancock "a small, well-within-the-margin-of-error lead...with 41 percent, followed by Romer, with 37 percent" (Denver Pols). Romer led the last poll, but factors such as name recognition and favorable and negative opinions are shifting.

Count among those fluctuations a surprise announcement this week by Romer, who is reconsidering his previous stance on eliminating the city's manager of public safety position (The Spot). Former mayoral contenders Mejia and Theresa Spahn urged Romer to reassess after throwing their support behind his campaign.

Mejia is among a camp of Latino leaders backing Romer, including two women from different generations of legislating at the state Capitol: former state Senator Polly Baca and state Representative Crisanta Duran (Post). But Hancock has his own cabal of Latino support in power pol Paul Sandoval and city councilors Paul Lopez and Judy Montero—two of six council members in all who back Hancock.

After sparring at a Republican forum Wednesday night (Westword), the contenders played nice during yesterday's exchanges, when the two discussed homelessness and GLBT issues at The Gathering Place, then moved on to talk about everything from abortion rights to Romer's role in a New Mexico political controversy (Post). While it remained civil, Hancock once again had to clarify an answer he gave related to religion after the event was over—this time about creationism's role in public schools (CW2).