Elected Official Profiles & Questionnaires
Congratulations to those elected as a result of the 2019 Municipal Election! The Downtown Denver Partnership looks forward to continuing to closely collaborate with the City of Denver’s elected and appointed officials. Get to know your elected officials and learn about their positions and values regarding parks and public spaces, transportation, and other topics important to the health and vibrancy of Downtown Denver.
Michael B. Hancock
As the incumbent candidate, Mayor Michael B. Hancock is looking to sustain the momentum that’s been created in Denver and take it to the next level. He is running for a third term because he believes that as a City we have a lot of work to continue and he wants to finish job that he started. Mayor Hancock’s priorities are affordable housing, building out multimodal network, homelessness and sustainability. If re-elected, Mayor Hancock will look to ignite energy and opportunity in the city with a focus on becoming more inclusive and equitable. He says he is excited about addressing challenges. In addition, Mayor Hancock believes we can do more to support small businesses across the City. He says the more we focus on small business, the more successful we will be. Mayor Hancock sees an abundance of opportunity rather than an abundance of deficits in our growing City and looks forward to building upon this momentum in his next term as Mayor.
As an incumbent City Council candidate, Debbie Ortega hopes to build on momentum that has been built during her time in office. Ortega is one of 3 Denver co-chairs (appointed by Mayor Hancock) for Denver’s Complete Count Committee who will be reaching out to hard-to-count communities for the 2020 Census; traffic and congestion issues; and affordability for Denver's working families. As it relates to funding, Ortega wants to encourage the Mayor's office to take a step back to look at the big picture related to infrastructure and gentrification impact of 500 acres of new development and closely examine budget priorities.
Robin Kniech is running for re-election to build upon the foundation she has built in her first two terms, particularly related to affordable housing and inclusivity. She believes that growth needs to have a conscience and as a leader she will continue to expand community engagement and participation. Kniech is neutral on Initiative 300, but stressed the importance of providing a path to housing. Counciwoman Kniech reiterated her commitment to advocating for using public lands for tiny homes and for stewarding a community process for additional supportive housing. Kniech's top priorities include transit (particularly buses), housing, inclusivity, and building complete streets with regional partners.
Amanda Sandoval's public service spans back to her childhood- she grew up attending rallies and attending nonprofit events- and her professional career has included working as a City Council aide and a legislative liaison for the Denver Fire Department. Sandoval wants to protect the future of Denver. Her experience has led her to recognize the beauty of public-private partnerships and policy advocacy; to fall in love with zoning; and has developed her ability to build coalitions and get people to the table to make crucial decisions. Sandoval envisions setting up her office in a non-traditional way and stressed the importance of finding capable people to staff her office from within District 1.
District 2 incumbent Kevin Flynn is running to continue to work towards improving quality of life, bolstering economic development and improving public safety both in his district and in Denver as a whole. He believes that people are excited about what is happening in Southwest Denver. In his next term serving District 2, Flynn looks forward to engaging in policy matters regarding transportation, development and activation.
Jamie Torres wants to put her 18 years of experience working for the City to work for her neighbors in District 3. Torres, who has grown the City's Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, says she knows what it takes to develop and implement policy and knows what District 3 needs to navigate exciting, challenging times ahead. As the District 3 City Councilperson, Torres would prioritize neighborhood planning in West Denver and getting a handle on major projects and initiatives like General Obligation Bonds, Stadium District plans, Federal Boulevard construction, and Denver Housing Authority builds.
District 4 incumbent Kendra Black is a strong advocate for Denver and for her District. She asks to be re-elected to continue building on the progress she has achieved since she took office in 2015. Having spent the past three and a half years connecting and engaging with her community, Black prides herself on being open and accessible to her constituents. If re-elected, Black's immediate priorities will include continuing to advocate for more funding for important projects in District 4; addressing mobility challenges and continuing to lead by example by implementing initiatives such as #NoDriveFridays; and advocating for more representation of seniors' needs in City plans like Denveright.
Amanda Sawyer believes that tough decisions need to be made to determine Denver's future and feels it critical to be part of the conversation. If elected, Sawyer would take a neighborhood-focused approach to ensure that her constituents feel that their voices are heard. Sawyer's priorities include building more mobility infrastructure that will get people out of single occupancy vehicles; addressing first responders' staffing and resource shortages; and creating stronger connections between District 5 and downtown.
Incumbent Paul Kashmann believes he is uniquely positioned for the role because of his depth of knowledge of the district. Kashmann is looking forward to addressing issues and staying ahead of challenges with mobility, homelessness and affordability and plans to focus on mobility, climate change and environmental issues; and the structure of RNOs and how best to support neighborhood groups.
Prior to being elected to City Council, Jolon Clark worked from the Greenway Foundation and became involved in the City serving on the Parks and Recreation Board, which fueled his passion for city planning. Clark, who is running unopposed, currently serves as Council President and looks forward to building upon the knowledge and progress that has been made throughout his first term. Clark is opposed to Initiative 300 and calls it the scariest thing that has been on the ballot in his lifetime. He believes we need more accommodating shelters and that we must create more attainable housing as soon as possible. In addition to addressing housing and homelessness, Clark's priorities include sustainability and environmental issues, and transportation and mobility (particularly adding bike lanes and improving sidewalks).
As the District 8 incumbent, Chris Herndon feels passionately about public service and leadership and, in his interview, stated that his job on City Council does not feel like work on most days. If elected into office for another term, Herndon hopes to address equity gaps in District 8 by continuing work on the East Area Plan and creating more equitable resources for his constituents. Herndon will also work towards greater connectivity throughout the City and strive to offer more options that get people out of their single-occupancy vehicles.
Candi CdeBaca did not respond to the Downtown Denver Partnership's request to participate in the Municipal Election Candidate Interview process.
Since middle school, Chris Hinds has considered himself an advocate with a desire to leave his place better than he found it. In May 2018 he worked to pass the Chris Hinds Act, which passed with unanimous, bipartisan support after 15 months of work. This experience, says Hinds, is an example of his strong leadership and ability to coalesce groups to make things happen. Hines has served on Blueprint Denver, Denver Commission for People with Disabilities, Capitol Hill United Neighbors RNO, and Uptown on the Hill RNO. While Hinds’ direct legislative experience has been more at the state level, Hinds is running for Denver City Council because he wants to have a more dialed-in focus on impacting policy surrounding housing and transportation and hopes that his leadership on Council can be a model for the nation.
During her time representing City Council District 11 Stacie Gilmore has loved the opportunity to do collaborative, community-based work and has worked hard to bring the community together to advance decades-long initiatives to the benefit of the City and her district. Should she be re-elected, Gilmore will work to address transportation challenges through innovation and work on a regional approach to comprehensive workforce development.
Incumbent Timothy O'Brien believes that Denver's Auditor should be a qualified professional that maintains independence from the work that they do. O'Brien prides himself on attracting and retaining an outstanding staff- one of the largest audit functions in the country- that is able to execute forward-thinking ideas and help maintain transparency in government. In addition to building a strong team in within the City, O'Brien stressed the importance of going out into the neighborhoods to take citizens' concerns and provide education.
Paul D. López
As Clerk & Recorder, Paul López will work to increase accessibility to ballot boxes and improve voter turnout; preserve and digitize records to improve accessibility and build trust in government. López recognizes the great technology that Denver already has in place, but stressed the importance of using that technology effectively to get people out to vote. López has extensive experience in Denver government, having represented the community on Denver City Council for 12 years.