DENVER — Kwame Spearman, the co-owner and CEO of Denver bookstore Tattered Cover, has dropped out of the race for Denver mayor.
Spearman spoke first with Denver7 about the decision.
“There are a lot of candidates on the ballot,” he said. “Every candidate – including myself – needs to evaluate their path to victory, and what’s best for the City of Denver."
Spearman went on to endorse Kelly Brough in the race.
“This is going to be a very tight race, and I want to ensure that a candidate who shares my political ideology is in the runoff,” he told Denver7 exclusively. “I also believe – and it's the way that I think broadly about diversity – is that when you have applicants who are all equal and similar, the tie goes to the runner... And in this case, we have an opportunity to elect our first female mayor.”
"I think my resources are better spent ensuring that she's the next mayor," he added. "And I think that's the right answer for the city of Denver as well."
Spearman's exit trims the mayoral candidate field to 16 candidates. You can get to know them all here.
BREAKING— Tattered Cover CEO Kwame Spearman has withdrawn from the race to be Denver’s next Mayor. His first interview exclusive on Denver7 at 5. Now there are 16- He’s thrown his support to Kelly Brough. @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/BFA0mM7nXM— Tony Kovaleski (@TonyKovaleski) March 16, 2023
Ballots have already gone out to Denver voters. So, what happens if someone already voted for Spearman, or votes for him between now and election day not knowing that he'd dropped out of the race?
Once his withdrawal paperwork is officially filed with the city clerk's office, those votes would be listed as "undervote," or the same as not making a selection at all on the ballot.
So, what happens if I vote for a mayoral candidate that dropped out of the race?
Spearman had been campaigning as “Denver’s neighborhood mayor,” listing homelessness as the top issue facing the city.
“The way that I'm the most unique candidate in this race is I want to focus on our neighborhoods,” he said in an interview with Denver7 chief investigator Tony Kovaleski in February. “I want to have a neighborhood-by-neighborhood solution.”
In Denver7's online candidate platform that included interviews with all 17 mayoral candidates, Spearman ranked fifth in both page views and video views. Brough ranks first in both page views and video views, with Chris Hansen, Lisa Calderon and Mike Johnston also in the Top 5 in both categories.
You can watch Spearman's initial interview with Denver7 where he shared his platform and priorities.