State senator and former mayoral candidate Chris Hansen threw his support behind Kelly Brough in the race for Denver mayor on Friday.
Hansen announced his endorsement surrounded by gun violence prevention activists, saying a key reason he is backing Brough is because of her commitment to reduce gun violence. Hansen said the issue is particularly important to him as the father of two Denver teenagers and the senator representing East High School, where a student shot two faculty members last month.
"This is a moment where we have to press forward and act with urgency to reduce gun violence, and that means tight cooperation between the city of Denver and the state of Colorado," Hansen said. "With Kelly as our next mayor, I know we can continue to make Denver safer and the state of Colorado safer."
Hansen also named Brough's commitment to taking action on climate change and professional experience working with city hall as reasons why she earned his support.
Hansen came in sixth place in the April election for Denver mayor. His endorsement of Brough comes days after his legislative colleague, state Rep. Leslie Herod, endorsed Brough's opponent, Mike Johnston. Herod also ran for mayor in April, coming in fifth place.
Brough, former CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, will face Johnston, a former state senator, in the runoff election in June.
On Friday, Brough said if she were elected mayor, she would address gun violence by demanding stronger coordination and better use of Denver's public safety resources; replicating successful efforts from other cities, such as buy back programs, to reduce the number of weapons on the streets; and, partnering with other mayors to advocate for stronger gun laws.
"I look forward to working together with Sen. Hansen and this coalition of supporters to make Denver a city where we can keep our kids safe," Brough said. "I hope others will be inspired to join our team."
Maisha Fields, a gun violence survivor and the daughter of state Sen. Rhonda Fields, also backed Brough on Friday, saying Brough is "going to lead and act and implement to ensure that every Coloradan — but specifically Denverites — lives in a safer community, where our kids have less access to guns."
The endorsement event took place outside of the Colorado state Capitol building, hours after Gov. Jared Polis signed a package of new gun control legislation into law.
So far, Brough has also secured endorsements from former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, former state legislator Wilma Webb, former Colorado Democratic Party Chair Rick Palacio and Vice Chair Beverly Benavidez-Ryken.
In addition to Herod, Johnston is backed by former Colorado first lady Dottie Lamm, former Denver Mayor Federico Peña, former Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll and former Colorado Senate President Peter Groff.
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