Mayor Bill Vidal made some noise yesterday -- without calling a press conference. It might have been hard to hear over the roaring of all those rescued lions (and the media hubbub), but his recording welcoming travelers to Denver is now live on the train at Denver International Airport. And some Denverites would like to give Vidal even more of a voice: They're circulating a petition encouraging him to run for mayor.
Railroad liability consultant John Harms stopped by the office yesterday, armed with the petition and a letter he'd written to Governor John Hickenlooper on February 11, three days after Vidal had really, truly, put the lid on any possibility of running for a full term as mayor of Denver, the job he got in January when Hickenlooper appointed his former head of the Denver Department of Public Works to fill out the rest of his term, and the day after jammy-wearing Vidal and Hickenlooper had publicly hugged out their differences at a Denver's Road Home benefit.
Here's what Harms wrote the governor:
As you well know, I have been a supporter of your candidacy for Mayor of Denver, your eight year reign as Mayor and your election as Governor. I was proud to be in attendance at your inauguration and to see you in such delightful spirits as you embarked on a totally new political career and responsibility, in which I sincerely wish you the very best of good fortune in these precarious times...
I never heard of Bill Vidal until he became interim mayor, and only knew him by reputation, which is better than excellent! It became evident to me that, with his education, experience, career background and work ethic, he is, by far, the very best qualified person to become the new Mayor of our Queen City of the West!
As you know, Bill has had an excellent reputation as a lifelong public servant in Colorado, has never been a politician and is an extremely educated and competent individual who would make a great mayor of the City and County of Denver! His reputation precedes him wherever he goes and he is constantly beseech-ed by citizens to enter the Mayor's race.
Under these circumstances, Bill Vidal has a perfect right to accede to public opinion and decide to become a candidate for the office he is so competently filling. He fully intended to retire upon completing this short term, but if he gives in to public opinion and demand to become a candidate, that is strictly his prerogative with which none of us should interfere!
Frankly, I cannot remember knowing of a person with more popularity and public support until Bill Vidal came upon the scene and I witnessed it personally!
Governor, you should have taken these facts as credit to the last act of your administration as Mayor rather than getting into a nasty public confrontation with the man you selected to turn our city over to as you went on to become Governor!
I personally saw you immediately begin to enjoy the perks of being Mayor of the City and County of Denver and to enjoy them and your position over eight years, so you should be the first person to understand that Bill Vidal, who had every intention and desire to retire after his position to which you appointed him, might, with a groundswell of public encouragement, take a look at continuing his public service career by serving his "last hurrah" as Mayor, a position he so very much deserves and obviously would be so excellent in.
Interested in hearing more and signing Harms's petition? Call him at 303-839-9111.
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More from our Politics archive: "James Mejia: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Doug Linkhart: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Michael Forrester: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Michael Hancock: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Danny Lopez: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Chris Romer: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Carol Boigon: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Thomas Andrew Wolf: A Denver mayor's race profile," "Eric Zinn, mayoral hopeful, wants Denver to lose a million pounds," "Gerald Styron, Denver mayor candidate, once threatened to bring a gun to Westword," and "Paul Noel Fiorino: A Denver mayor's race profile."