Mar 7, 2023 - News

What the next Denver mayor would say on the DIA train

Illustration of a microphone surrounded by exclamation points

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Welcome to Denver." Those are the first words the city's mayor shares with visitors and residents as the train arrives at Denver International Airport's main terminal.

Driving the news: For the past 12 years, Mayor Michael Hancock has delivered the greeting.

  • But soon the voice will change. And the candidates for mayor already know what they want to say.

Why it matters: How the candidates pitch Denver in 15 seconds says plenty about their perspective on the city and their personality.

What they're saying: The Colorado Sun asked the mayoral hopefuls to record their train message. Here are the most interesting ones:

  • Lisa Calderon, who is running to represent overlooked communities, mentions the "diversity of our wonderful city" at the start.
  • Thomas Wolf offers the funniest line. "If you are just visiting, you'll quickly realize why you are jealous of those who are returning home," he says.
  • Mike Johnston hits the highlights, touting the state's many activities and telling visitors to "wash it all down with America's best beer."
  • Ean Thomas Tafoya, an environmental activist, made a land acknowledgment β€” and asked visitors "to recycle and compost" and "make sure you tip your servers."
  • Andy Rougeot features his dog barking a welcome.
  • Leslie Herod invokes an old Denver nickname, saying: "The Queen City is ready for you."

Reality check: Debbie Ortega touts the city's 300 days of sunshine β€” a falsehood, though we admit we've told the same to out-of-towners.

Of note: Kwame Spearman, the CEO of Tattered Cover, emphasizes the "best local businesses in the country," but he'll need a redo. He forgot to introduce himself.


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