2011 Mayoral Election: Hancock and Romer Take Up Immigration and Denver's Budget Issues

May 17 2011, 8:26 AM

New issues have been cast out to the contenders for Denver mayor, as the two continue their attempts to showcase their differences in advance of the June 7 runoff election. If the numbers from the May 3 vote are any indication, both Michael Hancock and Chris Romer will need to make extra efforts to distinguish themselves, as many voters remain undecided (Denver Post).

Federico Peña isn't one of them. The former Denver mayor, who backed James Mejia in the first round of the election, is set to announce his support for Romer today. "This is definitely a coup," political analyst Floyd Ciruli tells the Post. "[T]his gives Romer some momentum, and it makes it a very difficult race to predict." Romer also recently picked up an endorsement from Denver city auditor Dennis Gallagher (Denver Pols).

Looking to win over Mejia's west-side supporters, Hancock and Romer participated in a forum hosted by various Latino community groups over the weekend, diverging on a program designed to determine the citizenship status of illegal immigrant inmates (Denver Daily News). And yesterday the candidates looked to make their marks on how to approach tackling Denver's budget during a lunchtime "job interview" with city employees (The Spot).

One commonality that will remain between the contenders is their experience, albeit in different levels of government. Those political histories are reviewed in the first two articles of a new Denver Post series called "Making of a Mayor," which surveys the criticisms and achievements of the both candidates' pasts, such as Hancock's leadership in disciplining police after the shooting of a developmentally disabled teenager and Romer's selective risk-taking during his time at the state Capitol.