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Auon’tai Anderson to face challenger in DPS school board race

The former Tattered Cover CEO is challenging incumbent school board at-large member Auon’tai Anderson.

DENVER — Former Tattered Cover CEO and one-time Denver mayoral candidate Kwame Spearman announced Monday that he is entering the race for a Denver Public School’s at-large Board of Education seat.

Spearman is the only candidate to date challenging incumbent Auon’tai Anderson, who holds one of two at-large seats on the board and the only at-large seat up for election this year.

"We need leaders on the school board that begin and end each conversation focusing on our students – particularly how we can achieve excellence in our schools," Spearman said in a news release. "I hope to be that leader on the board."

A Denver native who grew up in DPS schools, Spearman graduated from Montclair Elementary, Smiley Middle School and East High School.

"We’ve got great neighborhoods and great schools in those neighborhoods, and those schools are the heart of each community," Spearman said in the release. "I'm running because we need a school board that works with the community and focuses on excellent academic outcomes for each of our schools. Your neighborhood deserves great schools."

Spearman said his mom, Janice Spearman, worked in DPS for more than 37 years as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.

Credit: 9NEWS
Kwame Spearman

In December 2020, Spearman and fellow Denver native David Back led a group of Colorado-based investors who purchased the Tattered Cover bookstore in a private sale in December 2020.

Spearman was one of 17 candidates on the ballot for Denver mayor in this election cycle before dropping out of the race on March 16. He endorsed Kelly Brough, who is in a election runoff with Mike Johnston.

He joined the Denver mayoral race in January, staking out relatively conservative positions on issues from homelessness to crime to immigration policy. His center-right politics caused some friction with Tattered Cover customers during his campaign.

In April, Spearman stepped down as CEO of Tattered Cover bookstore to focus on politics. Spearman remains a co-owner of Tattered Cover.


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