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DENVER — The 2019 race to become mayor of Denver is getting more interesting.

Former State Sen. Penfield Tate announced over the weekend that he will be running against Michael Hancock and others in an increasingly crowded field.

During the Broncos’ “Monday Night Football” game Tate ran a commercial announcing his candidacy.

“His behavior has drawn into question his ability to lead,” Tate said of Hancock.

But Tate said the February text messaging scandal involving Hancock and a Denver police detective is not the main reason he is running.

He wants to challenge Hancock on three issues: Affordably housing, rising crime rates and gentrification controversies.

“There has been a lack of leadership and a lack of planning,” Tate said.

Tate joins a growing field: Stephan Evans, also known as Chairman Seku; Marcus Giavanni; Kalyn Heffernan; and Kayvan Khalatbari are already in the race.

Denver Chamber of Commerce President Kelly Brough is also rumored to be considering a run and community activist Lisa Calderon said she will decide by the end of December.

“He’ll have to work harder, work smarter than he ever has before,” political analyst Andy Boian said.

Boian said Hancock’s text messaging scandal opened him up to criticism, not to mention the fact he is running for a third term, which is an automatic liability.

“After a second term, people are starting to get unsettled, feeling like they could see a change,” Boian said.

But Boian added the mayor is the favorite. Hancock has maintained strong connections in many different political circles and has raised hundreds of thousands for his re-election campaign.

Hancock seemed to welcome the competition Monday.

“It doesn’t surprise me that people want to be mayor. It’s a great city,” he said. “I’m excited to put our record out there.”