Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s re-election campaign on March 25 began running his first advertisement — a 30-second video that highlights a time when his family was homeless.
Dubbed “Blessed,” the ad (watch below) features Hancock's 20-year-old daughter, Janae, sitting on a bench in Skyland Park, talking about how her dad's father left the family when the future mayor was 6 years old.
The ad says Hancock's family lived in a motel for a time and that he attended six different elementary schools by the time he entered third grade.
Campaign spokeswoman April Valdez Villa said the ad will run on local television and cable stations as well as social media up to the May 7 election. She said a second ad will air in April.
The campaign’s decision to highlight Hancock’s experience with homelessness comes at a time when voters are also considering Initiative 300, which would repeal the city’s urban camping ban and assert the right of the homeless to live on the streets. Hancock opposes the measure, stating that life on the streets is no solution to homelessness.
“A lot of folks who are going to be voting in this election haven't been here the whole time that he's been mayor,” Valdez Villa said. “And so, we thought it would really important for people to get a personal introduction as to who he is.”
As for the use of the homeless theme, she said, “His having experienced homelessness give him a really unique lens in a way that he can appreciate what those people are going through.”
Campaign finance reports show Hancock has raised $1.5 million in his bid for a third term, more then double what his opponents have raised.
He is opposed by Lisa Calderon, Stephan Evans, Jamie Giellis, Kalyn Rose Heffernan and Penfield Tate III.