Sep 8, 2022 - Politics

Leslie Herod is running for Denver mayor

Democratic state Rep. Leslie Herod in 2018 at the state Capitol in 2018. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

State Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democrat, is running for mayor of Denver, positioning herself as a frontrunner in a growing field of candidates.

Why it matters: Herod, who represents Denver in the Legislature, is known for progressive policies, including championing a law that helped change police officers' use of force and requiring on-duty law enforcement to use body cameras.

  • She was long rumored to be running for the seat opening as term-limited Mayor Michael Hancock vacates the position. Her candidacy means there are now three high-profile women running to be the city's chief executive.

Of note: Council member Debbie Ortega and Kelly Brough, former head of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, are, like Herod, vying to make history: The city has never had a woman mayor in its 163-year history.

  • Dottie Lamm, the former first lady of Colorado, is serving as Herod's campaign treasurer.

What they're saying: "Denver is ready for a mayor who will get things done; and I'm ready to meet that moment," Herod said in a press release announcing her candidacy.

  • Calling herself a community leader and social justice reform advocate, Herod said she will put "results over politics," and said as the city's first woman mayor, she plans on focusing on affordable housing, public safety and what she calls the "homelessness crisis."

Context: In 2016, Herod became the first Black, LGBTQ woman elected to the state Legislature. She ran unopposed in the last two election cycles.

  • Herod is responsible for the Caring for Denver ballot initiative passed by voters in 2018, which generates money from sales tax, and has distributed $83 million to help pay for behavioral health programs and resources, including the city's lauded STAR program.

By the numbers: City records show at least 12 people have filed paperwork to become the city's mayor.

  • Next year's municipal elections will take place in April after voters decided to move it from May.
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