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Felony conviction no longer disqualifies people from running for Aurora City Council

Candice Bailey, a community activist with an over 20-year-old felony conviction, hopes to run for City Council.

AURORA, Colo. — For the first time in 60 years, Aurora residents with felony convictions will be permitted to run for City Council after the council voted to lift its ban Monday.

The city charter will now be modified to align with the state constitution. Aurora’s ban of felons, approved by voters in 1961, goes beyond federal and state law, unless the candidate is convicted of things like violating public trust or bribery, officials said. 

RELATED: ACLU suing City of Aurora for blocking person with prior conviction from running for office

This change comes after the ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit against Aurora in May in an effort to allow Candice Bailey, a community activist with an over 20-year-old felony conviction, to run for City Council this November.

>The video above is from May when 9NEWS spoke with Bailey about her lawsuit

“It’s necessary that the city’s code be brought in harmony with the state’s constitution,” City Attorney Gerald Dahl said in support of the change Monday. “It's the Colorado constitution that dictates the scope and power of, not only the legislature, but of municipalities.”

RELATED: National political furor finds way into local government meetings

The proposed change passed in a 7-2 vote, with council members Dave Gruber and Marsha Berzins voting no. Gruber and Berzins argued that the issue should be put on the ballot for voters to decide. 

Read more from our partners at the Denver Gazette.

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