DENVER (KDVR) — Denver’s municipal election is not until next spring but the list has now grown to 20 candidates officially filing as of Monday night, with more established politicians seriously considering joining the race.
“There seems to be two camps: one that filed sort of before the general election and then we are also kind of seeing a bit of a trickle of people filing afterwards,” said Alton Dillard, Communications Manager of the Denver Elections Division.
That trickle may be more of a stream now with three more candidates joining the crowded list just last week, and one more joining Monday evening. More could potentially join the list later this week too.
“The number of folks that are walking across the street from the statehouse over to city hall to want to run for either council or the mayor’s seat, that is pretty extraordinary,” said Andy Boian, Democratic Strategist and FOX31 Political Analyst.
State lawmakers are not the only ones looking to lead the city.
Former state lawmakers, city councilmembers, former Denver Chamber of Commerce leaders and other prominent community members are all among the list of people vying for the seat, giving voters a wide array of candidates to choose from.
“Right now, there is no clear frontrunner. And it’s really early as well so while people think they are backing one candidate or the other, what I’ve encouraged people to think about is to support somebody with whom you believe and align yourself with but keep in my mind, we might not be done with the number of candidates in the race yet,” Boian said.
The clock is ticking for folks who want to file.
“That deadline is January 19th. And the thing to remember about Denver is for citywide offices, it takes 300 petition signatures to run for a citywide office. And for the district-level city council races, it takes 100 petition signatures. So someone can hop in as late as mid-January and circulate petitions and still have a chance of getting on the ballot,” Dillard said.
With a race this crowded, our analyst says a runoff is likely. While open mayor races usually draw a lot of interest, Denver could be gearing up for a contest the city has never seen before. Per filing records, only one of the 20 candidates who have filed to run for mayor has withdrawn from the race.