DENVER — Community activist Dr. Lisa Calderón will officially announce her candidacy for Denver mayor in an event scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to a news release.
“I have spent my entire adult life in the service of others. It is precisely because I am not a politician, but rather a public servant, that I have decided to run for public office,” Calderón said in the release.
If elected, she would become the first woman to serve as Denver mayor.
Calderón, 50, is a criminal justice professor at Denver’s Regis University and co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum.
She joins attorney Penfield Tate III as among the candidates in the race, which is also expected to include current mayor Michael Hancock in a bid for a third term, according to Colorado Politics.
Calderón has frequently sparred with Hancock over housing, police policy, gentrification and other issues, Colorado Politics reported
Back in April, Calderón filed a lawsuit against Mayor Michael Hancock, Sheriff Patrick Firman and two other Denver leaders.
Calderón works as the director of the Community Reentry Project, a program that works to help people who were incarcerated transition back into the community.
Her lawsuit alleges that Hancock and Firman deprived Calderón "of her rights under the First Amendment by failing to renew and/or award her City contract in retaliation for her speaking out about matters of public concern."
Those matters, the lawsuit continues, include when in June 2017 Calderón spoke out about "discrimination against African Americans in the sheriff department and the reorganization of the agency to exclude African Americans and Latinos from executive leadership."
The city's contract with the Community Reentry Project was renewed each year since 2007. In July of last year, just one month after Calderón's critical press release, she was asked for the first time in six years to basically re-apply for the contract with the city.