Activist state

State Rep. Leslie Herod joins Denver mayoral race | New

Colorado Rep. Leslie Herod joins the race to become mayor of Denver, adding a major name to an already crowded field of candidates.

Herod announced his candidacy on Thursday, seeking to replace term-limited mayor Michael Hancock when his third term ends in 2023. At least 10 other candidates have filed paperwork to run, including longtime city councilor Debbie Ortega, former Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce CEO Kelly. Brough and anti-gang activist Terrance Roberts.

“I’m running for mayor for a very simple reason — our city struggles as it changes and I have the track record of accomplishment and experience to chart a new course for Denver,” Herod said. “I have always put results before politics, bringing about meaningful change for people. …Denver is ready for a mayor who will get things done; and I am ready to meet this moment.

The Denver Democrat was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2016, becoming the first openly LGBTQ black woman elected to the Colorado General Assembly. Herod won re-election in uncontested races in 2018 and 2020, and is on the ballot for re-election to her final term in November.

While in the House, Herod championed progressive causes. This year, his successful bills included the creation of a statewide equity officeexonerating period products and sales tax layersestablishing June 19 as a public holiday and increasing the minimum wage for nursing home workers.

Outside of the legislature, Herod serves as chair of the board of directors of Caring For Denver, a mental health and addictions nonprofit she developed through a 2018 ballot measure to fund health programs. mental and drug addiction. The ballot measure also created the Denver STAR program, an alternative police model that responds to low-level emergencies with paramedics and mental health clinicians.

If elected mayor, Herod said her main goals would be to tackle homelessness, crime and affordable housing, also adding improving the city’s parks and transportation systems as important issues.

“As Denver’s first female mayor, I will focus on the everyday issues that affect our lives: affordable housing, safer streets for our families, and the homelessness crisis,” Herod said. “Denver is ready for change and we are ready to tackle our toughest issues. … We will develop the plans with the community to achieve results that improve the lives of all members of our community.

If Herod is re-elected in November and then elected mayor next year, a vacancy committee will select a replacement to fill Herod’s seat representing District 8 of the House, including the neighborhoods of Denver City Park, Clayton, Park Hill, East Colfax and Five Points.


Denver leaders reflect on Paul Pazen's legacy as police chief