DENVER (KDVR) — One of the longest-tenured city councilors in the Mile High City is officially throwing her hat in the ring to serve as Denver’s mayor.

Councilwoman Deborah Ortega has a total of 27 years of experience serving on the city council. She first joined the council in 1987 after being elected to succeed her former boss, Sal Carpio. She served until 2003 when her limited term was up.

In 2011, Ortega was elected to council once again to serve in an at-large position, requiring a city-wide vote. She won re-election in 2015 and 2019.

If elected, she would be Denver’s first female mayor. Ortega is the tenth candidate to throw their hat into the race, as current Mayor Michael Hancock is term-limited and will not be allowed to run again in 2023.

Statement from Ortega on mayoral run

Today, I am proudly filing my candidacy to be Mayor for the people of Denver. 

For over 40 years, I have been a trailblazer in Denver, advocating for meaningful policy to address the issues that matter most to our neighbors and local businesses. 

It is time for Denver to chart a new course. This will require a leader who works side-by-side with the people, as I have for my entire career. Together, we will find the best path forward to balance growth and development with critical infrastructure. We can increase affordable housing — especially for middle-income earners. We can expand parks and open space. We can ensure access to multi-modal transportation options and protect against climate change. We will work as a team to combat crime, increase safety and help our neighbors experiencing homelessness to move off our streets and into stable housing and employment. 

I am of the people and for the people and working together we can forge a proud future for the city we all love.

Councilwoman Deborah Ortega