By Tori Mason
DENVER (CBS4) — Mayor Michael Hancock says he’s not surprised the race for mayor is getting more crowded. The incumbent says Denver is a great city and being the mayor of Denver is a great job.
However, Penfield Tate thinks he could do a better job.
Tate announced his run on CBS4 to CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd Sunday.
“Now is the time to get some new leadership and head us in a different, more positive direction,” said Tate.
Hancock says he’s excited to campaign on his work to create more affordable housing, improve transportation and create a more equitable city.
Tate told CBS4 that the mayor’s office has failed to manage Denver’s growing population. The former state lawmaker also said Hancock dropped the ball on issues like affordable housing, public safety and transportation.
The mayor responded by saying his administration created 25 percent of the affordable housing in Denver. Hancock noted that he’s one of the first mayors to reallocate general fund money to affordable housing.
“I’m excited to put my record out there. I know we have made an unprecedented commitment to affordable housing which is not a traditional municipal function to be quite honest,” Hancock said.
Tate also said that if you’re going to be mayor, you need to be held to a higher standard. He told CBS4 there’s lack of transparency and accountability in the city.
He adds homelessness, crime and traffic are worse, not better under Hancock.
“People constantly talk about the fact that development in their neighborhood is displacing long term residents, is driving gentrification,” he said. “You have to have a plan for growth, and you have to manage it. I and people around the city don’t feel we planned for it and managed it well.”
Tate says sexual misconduct by the mayor also hasn’t been managed well.
Hancock admitted to sending a female officer on his security detail inappropriate text messages, but city council refused to investigate.
Hancock’s campaign manager responded saying, “The mayor has been open and honest about what he did, and he has apologized repeatedly and profusely.”
Tate says sexual misconduct should be investigated in all cases, from judges to mayors.
Mayor Hancock praised his office’s efforts to be transparent.
“We have been one of the first administrations to hold town hall meetings on a weekly basis, to be in every neighborhood in the city and stand there and answer any questions that people in Denver want to ask us.”
As for lack of accountability, “You’ll have to ask him what he’s referring to. I have no idea,” said Hancock.
The mayor says his attention is on running the city and the midterm elections in November. He’s focused on supporting key measures on the fall ballot, and electing Jared Polis and other Democrats to office.
Hancock says there will be plenty of time for his office to turn their attention to the mayor’s race afterward.
Tate, on the other hand, is airing his first TV ad during the Broncos game Monday night.