Kelly Brough endorsed by State Sen. Chris Hansen in Denver mayors race

Kelly Brough has gained the support of another former rival as she continues her campaign for the Denver mayor’s office.

State Sen. Chris Hansen endorsed Brough on Friday in the mayoral runoff race against Mike Johnston.

Brough and Hansen appeared side by side on the steps of the Colorado Capitol, where they not only announced his support for her campaign but also celebrated Gov. Jared Polis signing a handful of gun control bills earlier in the day, making progress on a major Democratic priority in the legislature this year. Gun control advocacy organization Colorado Ceasefire is also supporting Brough.

Hansen’s reasoning for backing Brough echoes her core pitch to voters: She is a veteran of past Denver administrations who can take on the job of leading the city with no learning curve.

“I endorsed Kelly Brough to be Denver’s next mayor for a variety of reasons. One, she’s a proven executive. She knows how to get things done,” Hansen said. “Second, she has deep experience at city hall. She knows the departments, she knows how to make progress on issue after issue and she can do that from Day 1 as Denver’s next mayor.”

In particular, Hansen said he feels Brough is committed to taking action on climate change, something he feels the city must move quickly on in the next four years.

That pronouncement comes despite Brough speaking against state legislation that aimed to curb greenhouse gas emissions when she was leading the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 2021.

It’s important to differentiate between Brough as the head of the chamber and Brough as a mayoral candidate, Hansen said.

“Kelly did a great job of leading that organization. And there were times we agreed, and there were times we didn’t,” Hansen said. “But I think what’s become very clear in this mayor’s race is that she’s committed to strong climate action … ”

Hansen came in sixth out of 16 mayoral candidates in the April 4 municipal election, netting 4.8% of the vote. He becomes the third mayoral hopeful to back Brough joining 10th-place finisher Thomas Wolf who got roughly 1% of the vote. Kwame Spearman dropped out of the race before Election Day, announcing his support for Brough in the process.

Johnston on Monday welcomed the endorsement of State Rep. Leslie Herod, who came in fifth in the first round of the mayor’s race with 10.7% support.

Building coalitions with other candidates could be key for Brough and Johnston who got 20% and 24.5% of the vote in the first round respectively.

“I look forward to working together with Sen. Hansen and this coalition of supporters to make Denver a city where we can keep our kids safe and where we invest more in preventing crime than in fighting crime,” Brough said Friday in a nod to Hansen’s gun control work. “I hope others will be inspired to join our team and together make Denver a city that works for all of us.”

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