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Lisa Calderón (Handout)

Lisa Calderón, a prominent Denver civil rights activist and frequent critic of Mayor Michael Hancock and his administration, announced Monday morning that she will run  in 2019 to become Denver’s mayor.

Lisa Calderón (Handout)

“I believe the time has come to elect a mayor who will set a new direction for Denver by creating a more affordable, accountable and humane city, where every voice matters,” Calderón said in a written statement. “Quite simply, it’s time for a new vision and new leadership where the principles of equity, fairness and justice are the touchstones by which we measure a great city.”

Calderón joins a growing list of candidates vying to unseat Hancock next year. 

Former Democratic state Sen. Penfield Tate announced late last month that he was getting into the contest that already includes disability rights activist Kalyn Heffernan and others.

(Cannabis entrepreneur and activist Kayvan Khalatbari was in the race until he bowed out in recent weeks citing undisclosed “personal reasons,” saying he had to “focus on my family and my personal health and wellness.”)

Calderón has been rumored to be considering a run for Denver mayor for month. She is a lawyer with a doctorate in education who has focused her work in the nonprofit sector tackling issues like domestic violence, homelessness and substance abuse.

Earlier this year, Calderón called for Hancock’s resignation following allegations that he sexually harassed a female Denver police detective on his security detail through text messages. Hancock apologized for the messages but said they did not rise to sexual harassment. 

Calderón is also co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum. 

“I have spent my entire adult life in the service of others,” Calderón’s statement said. “It is precisely because I am not a politician, but rather a public servant, that I have decided to run for public office.”

Rising Sun


The Colorado Sun — Desk: 720-432-2229 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...