And they're off! John Hickenlooper won't resign the office of Denver mayor until 8:30 a.m. next Tuesday (ninety minutes before he's sworn in as governor), but the ever-increasing group of candidates who'd like to occupy that office next will be holding open houses over the next few days.
First up: Michael Hancock, whose campaign occupies the luckiest space of all.
Hancock, currently the Denver City Council rep for northeast Denver, has already opened his office in the heart of the Golden Triangle, at 1100 Bannock Street. It's a good spot, notes spokesman Evan Dreyer, because it already has the technical infrastructure for a campaign.
And a record for housing successful campaigns. Over the years, this space has been occupied by a series of candidates who have won their offices. Six years ago, it was headquarters for the Ken Salazar for Senate campaign; Salazar won (and later surrendered his seat to become Secretary of the Interior). The next occupant? Former Denver DA Bill Ritter, who based his campaign there when he ran for governor in 2006. Ritter won, too, but declined to run again in 2010. (Dreyer, spokesman for both the Ritter campaign and then for Governor Ritter, became very familiar with the address back then.)
Mark Udall, the 2nd Congressional District representative, used the space as the base for his race for the Senate in 2008. He won, of course.
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Next? The Democrats used the address as a Coordinated Campaign Headquarters in the 2010 election, giving a particular push to Michael Bennet, who'd been appointed to Ken Salazar's vacant seat by Ritter. And Bennet won -- a surprise upset that stunned pundits across the country. But not anyone who knew the history of this building in Colorado politics.
Will the office be as lucky for Hancock? Ask him tomorrow at the open house at 1100 Bannock, which starts at 5:30 p.m.
And that's just the start: Mark your calendars for mayoral candidate Doug Linkhart's open house on Saturday, January 8, and candidate James Mejia's open house on Sunday, January 9.
Read Michael Roberts's profile of mayoral candidate Michael Hancock here.