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Kayvan Khalatbari

Denver marijuana entrepreneur and activist Kayvan Khalatbari announced Wednesday morning that he is ending his campaign to become the city’s mayor.

In a Facebook post, Khalatbari said: “Sometimes life is incredibly unfair and throws you things that you simply can’t control, things that force you to reprioritize how you spend your days. This is one of those moments. I’m not going to go into details and appreciate everyone respecting my privacy in this matter.”

In a separate post, Khalatbari added “for personal reasons I must remove myself from this process to focus on my family and my personal health and wellness.”

Khalatbari, the owner of the popular Denver Sexy Pizza restaurants and who made a failed bid for City Council, was among a growing field of candidates to replace two-term Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in 2019. 

On Sunday, former state Sen. Penfield Tate announced his candidacy to replace Hancock.

Disability rights activist Kalyn Heffernan is also running for the job.

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage....