AURORA -- Ryan Frazier, a former Aurora City Council member and regular name in Colorado GOP politics, is vying for the Aurora mayor position once again.
Frazier, 41, last ran for the post in 2011. Then, he lost to former Mayor Steve Hogan, who died last year. Bob LeGare, a former at-large member, was appointed to Hogan’s seat, but said he wouldn’t run for the spot in 2019.
Frazier also made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2016 and ran against U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter in the 7th Congressional District in 2010.
The non-partisan mayoral election will end Nov. 5. Also in the running is former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who announced his candidacy Jan. 31.
Frazier, who signaled his interest in the race in December, made his formal campaign announcement Saturday at Bethel Eritrean Church with supporters, a campaign team and a slogan, “Aurora is Rising.”
“Look around this room. This is Aurora,” he said of the diverse crowd, highlighting that he wants to make the city work for everybody, a point constantly made among city politicos.
In the eight years since Frazier sat on Aurora City Council, a lot in the city has changed, with the addition of the massive Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, more redevelopment along the East Colfax Avenue corridor, the opening of the Stanley Marketplace, and a changing political landscape. Aurora elected three progressive Emerge Colorado alumna to the council in 2017.
"What hasn’t changed?” Frazier said. “Aurora is changing even as we speak.”
But he thinks it’s all on the right track.
“Overall the city is heading in a good direction,” he said. “Steve Hogan helped that, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have work to do.”
Specifically, Frazier wants to tackle affordable housing, education and transportation.
On affordable housing, Frazier said he “believes in partnerships.”
“We need to partner with homebuilders to reduce the cost of building homes in our cities,” he said, citing high developer fees and the rising cost of land. “Those savings have to be passed on to buyers.”
He’s also open to looking at creating community land trusts, that allow homeownership but at a lower price point.
Frazier also put education at the top of his priority list.
“I don’t have direct authority and I get that, but I am the chief influencer and I can bring people together,” he said. “The mayor can and should play a role because you cannot have a vibrant city without good education, and that’s what we have to work on.”
Frazier co-founded Aurora’s High Point Academy, a charter school. During his announcement event, he said he wants to work with the city’s two school districts and charter schools to get more resources into the school for students and help create better pay for teachers.
During the announcement, Frazier said he wants to work on improving traffic jams around Aurora, but it’ll have to take a regional approach.
He didn’t offer a specific solution, but did say the city will have to find revenues and work with other municipalities in the metro region to make an impact.
Others who have pulled paperwork to run for mayor are another former council member, Renie Peterson; and Aurora NACCP President Omar Montgomery, the Sentinel of Aurora has reported.