Sep 23, 2021 - Politics

Tay Anderson's political future may be in jeopardy after censure

Students at East High School walk out of class to protest school board member Tay Anderson on Monday. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Tay Anderson' political future is in jeopardy.

Threat level: Students and parents say the Denver school board member should be canceled.

  • They are calling for Anderson's resignation after the board voted last Friday to censure the 23-year-old for flirtatious interactions with students and online posts seen as "intimidating witnesses" during the investigation.

Those historically in his corner are publicly keeping their distance: Democratic State Rep. Leslie Herod, an Anderson mentor, and other local leaders declined to express support for him when contacted by Axios on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "Tay Anderson has become the Donald Trump of Denver politics," political strategist Eric Sondermann tells Axios. "His loyal base laps it all up and thinks he can do no wrong. But more discerning voters turn away in disgust."

  • His career depends on "a good measure of contrition," Sondermann adds.

The other side: In comments before the censure vote, Anderson left open the idea he wouldn't seek re-election. On Wednesday, he told Alayna he plans to run for a second term.

  • Anderson says he is "doing the work to rebuild my relationship with my constituents."

In a rally just before the censure vote, Anderson's supporters pushed back against those who say he should step down.

  • A statement from NAACP leaders suggested the investigation and censure violated Anderson's civil rights.
  • Bishop Jerry Demmer, president of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, compared the findings of the investigation to "the big lie" — the false claim by former President Trump that he won the 2020 election.

The bottom line: "He’s young. It will be interesting to see in a year where the community is at with this reconciliation," Sheena Anne Kadi, a Democratic strategist.


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