Denver mayor's race picks up another candidate

The Denver City and County Building, its city hall.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has built a commanding lead over his challengers in campaign fundraising, amassing more than $1.5 million, this week's finance reports show.

That's more than double the combined money raised by his five rivals. It's $882,000 more than money collected by Jamie Giellis, Penfield Tate III, Lisa Calderon, Kalyn Rose Heffernan and Stephan “Seku” Evans.

Meanwhile, opponents of Initiative 300, which would give the homeless the right to camp in public places, have outstripped the advocates by better than 10 to 1.

Together Denver, which is urging a “no” vote on the referendum, has raised $558,784 compared with $53,946 raised by the Right to Survive campaign, finance reports show.

Several prominent businesses groups have contributed to the Together Denver fund, including the Downtown Denver Partnership, which chipped in $100,000.

Denver voters will choose from an unusually large field of candidates on the May 7 ballot, with 42 running for 13 City Council seats.

And while money does not necessarily ensure victory, it does influence the outcome and shows where candidates are finding support.

In the mayoral race, Hancock’s bid for a third term has benefited from several large donations, including $3,000 each from Fort Collins philanthropist Pat Stryker and attorney Harvey Steinberg and $2,000 from the Sheet Metal Workers Local 9.

Giellis, who stepped down as president of the River North Art District to run for mayor, has raised the second largest total in that race, $413,061.

She also has the most cash on hand, says a March 17 filing, with $164,020 compared with Hancock's $145,004.

Tate, a lawyer and former legislator who ran for mayor in 2003, has amassed $225,059, and Calderon, a criminal justice professor at Regis University, has collected $67,268.

Heffernan has accumulated $2,415, and Evans has received $1,545.

In the council races, District 9 Councilman Albus Brooks has raised the most, $230,456, compared with his nearest rival, Candi CdeBaca, who collected $49,608.

The next most expensive council race has six people vying for two at-large seats. Councilwomen Robin Kniech and Deborah Ortega have raised the most money: $127,044 for Kniech and $110,818 for Ortega.

The battle for an open seat in District 1 also has been expensive, with seven candidates raising a total of $214,605. The leading fundraisers have been Michael Somma, with $48,791; Amanda Sandoval, $47,470; and Scott Durrah, $43,902.

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