Breaking News
More () »

Dr. Lisa Calderón enters race for Denver mayor

Calderón, a longtime community leader and vocal critic of outgoing Mayor Michael Hancock, is joining the race to replace him.

DENVER — Dr. Lisa Calderón, a longtime community leader and vocal critic of outgoing Mayor Michael Hancock, is joining the race to replace him.

Calderón, who shared her decision with 9NEWS ahead of a planned announcement Thursday, is the fourth high-profile woman seeking to become Denver's first female mayor.

This is Calderón’s second run for mayor. In 2019, she finished third in the initial round of voting, with 18.45% of the vote, behind Mayor Hancock’s 38.65% and challenger Jamie Giellis’ 24.88%.

Calderón said her campaign will focus on affordable housing, good-paying jobs, accessible neighborhoods and on-demand mental health services, among other priorities.

RELATED: Longer ballots mean it takes longer to count on election night

“We don’t have to choose between affordable housing and open space, but instead, invest in both,” Calderón said. “We can be a model city where small businesses thrive, and workers are paid equitably.”

A Denver native, Calderón has spent decades advocating for social justice and working in academia. Following her 2019 run for mayor, she served as Chief of Staff to City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, another outspoken critic of gentrification, police policies, and the economic priorities of the Hancock administration.

Calderón currently leads Emerge Colorado, an organization that trains progressive women to run for political office.

Calderón is the fourth prominent woman to join the race for Denver mayor. In making her announcement, Calderón made a thinly veiled reference to the three women already in the race.

“I am not a term-limited career politician or part of Denver’s political machine,” Calderon said.

City Councilwoman Debbie Ortega, who was first elected in 1987, is seeking the mayor’s office as she is term-limited from seeking re-election.

Credit: KUSA

RELATED: Herod enters Denver mayor’s race as potential frontrunner

The race also includes State Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver), a well-connected rising star in Colorado’s Democratic party, and former Denver Mayor Chamber of Commerce CEO Kelly Brough, a longtime political power player expected to have support from corporate interests.

Calderón is planning a formal campaign kickoff on October 22 in Denver’s Whittier neighborhood.



Watch more from 9NEWS on the free 9NEWS+ app for Roku and Fire TV. 

9NEWS+ has multiple live daily shows including 9NEWS Mornings, Next with Kyle Clark and 9NEWS+ Daily, an original streaming program. 9NEWS+ is where you can watch live breaking news, weather updates, and press conferences. You can also replay recent newscasts and find videos on demand of our top stories, local politics, investigations and Colorado specific features. 

To download 9NEWS+ on Roku search for KUSA.  

To download 9NEWS+ on Fire TV search for 9NEWS. 

RELATED: Watch 9NEWS for free on ROKU, Apple TV, Fire TV 

Before You Leave, Check This Out