Kelly Brough to make a bid for Denver mayor in 2023
Kelly Brough filed paperwork Monday to run for Denver mayor in 2023, despite saying a year ago she had no plans to compete for the job.
Why it matters: The former head of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Brough is the first big-name candidate to enter the wide-open race to replace Mayor Michael Hancock, who is term-limited after 12 years in the post.
- She served as the city's lead business promoter for 12 years and previously was chief of staff to former Mayor John Hickenlooper.
- "Kelly is smart, knows the city well and will have the business community behind her. All of which would make her a formidable candidate," Sheila MacDonald, a Democratic strategist in Denver, told us at the time.
What she's saying: In an interview, Brough told John she wants to create a city "where everyone feels safe, where people are housed."
- "I see a path where we could address those issues," she added.
Of note: Eight lesser-known candidates filed paperwork for mayor so far and a handful of prominent names are still expected to enter the race.
- Brough's campaign rollout didn't seem ready to go. It came with no announcement and no campaign website.
- She told us her campaign would take shape after the November midterm election.
Between the lines: She initially moved to a role as chief strategy officer at Metropolitan State University of Denver but resigned effective Aug. 5 after less than a year on the job.
- Denverite was first to report she filed paperwork to run for mayor.
The other side: Brough's candidacy will test whether the city wants another business-backed moderate at City Hall.
- She often clashed with Democratic leaders like Gov. Jared Polis and top lawmakers at the state Capitol, and her competitors are expected to paint her as a big-business conservative.
- Brough emphasized her work on equity issues at the chamber and side-stepped questions about whether her politics fit the city's current mood.
The bottom line: Her experience in Hickenlooper's administration gives her an edge, but the city has shifted noticeably to the political left since her boss left the office in 2011.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with details throughout.
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