Will the real Michael Hancock please stand up?

Young journalists are often taught to use middle initials when they write stories about regular people who make the papers. This is especially the case when it comes to criminal matters, since an upstanding citizen named John Q. Doe certainly wouldn't want to be confused with an accused child molester named John P. Doe. Confusion like that can make it hard to get a job...or a girlfriend...or a plane ticket.

Need proof? Just ask Jim Holmes, the Aurora man initially mistaken for an alleged shooter by ABC's Brian Ross. Or any other Jim or James Holmes in Colorado whose middle name is not Eagan.

But when it comes to famous people, like mayors, the same rule does not apply. There is, as far as we know, only one Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, which means it's not really necessary to use his middle initial, B, when referring to him in a story.

Or so we thought.

According to the city, there is another Mayor Michael Hancock out there in the world, which makes the B more important, and so the Denver mayor's office has taken to using Michael Hancock's middle initial in all of its official pronouncements.

When that office didn't respond to an Off Limits request for exactly who this double-trouble mayor might be, we did some Googling of our own, and found out that Mike Hancock was the mayor of Brantford, Ontario — in Canada — from 2003 until the end of 2010. Fiscally conservative, Hancock campaigned on redeveloping the city's downtown and increasing economic opportunities.

But Brantford mayor Mike Hancock has retired. Is there really any reason that Denver mayor Michael Hancock can't retire the B, too?

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