Denver City Councilman Paul López just announced his candidacy for Denver County Clerk and Recorder. The office's new occupant will be decided in next year's May municipal election; incumbent Debra Johnson is not running again.
The term-limited councilman says his experience representing District 3, the city's west side, and his time as a community organizer working with Denver's most vulnerable populations will serve him well as the clerk and recorder, who oversees elections and voter registration, including campaign finance, and handles such things as deeds and marriage licenses. Only one other candidate, Margaret "Peg" Perl, is in the race so far.
"Now more than ever, our participation is critical to the future of our city and our very democracy," López says. "We refuse to be bullied or intimidated by those at the state and federal level who seek to take rights away, and we will defend our city block by block, ballot by ballot."
In 2007, López campaigned as the anti-establishment candidate who the year before had helped lead a massive, pro-immigrant rally that "seized downtown," as we put it. He also stood up to then-police chief Gerry Whitman, calling on the Denver Police Department to stop harassing minorities. He continued the fight on Denver City Council; in 2017, he urged Mayor Michael Hancock to issue an executive order that limited the city's cooperation with federal immigration officials and create a legal defense fund for immigrants.
"At my very core, I am an organizer, and we will move forward together in a way that will increase civic participation and public accountability, and strengthen our continued presence at the polls," López says.