Lisa Calderon endorses Mike Johnston for Denver mayor

Calderon, a progressive candidate, finished third in mayoral race and missed the runoff by 3,000 votes
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Posted at 5:55 PM, May 16, 2023

DENVER — Lisa Calderon announced Tuesday that she is endorsing Mike Johnston for Denver mayor.

Calderon, a progressive candidate, called it a “harm reduction” strategy in picking Johnston over Kelly Brough.

“I am endorsing today Mike Johnston for the next Denver mayor because it's not just about what we oppose. It's about what is possible,” Calderon said at a press conference. “I know the weight of this and I know the weight of this for progressives as well. But I hope progressives will understand that this is a harm reduction strategy.”

Calderon finished third in the mayoral race garnering more than 31,000 votes but fell roughly 3,000 votes just short of Brough’s total to make the runoff. Calderon also finished third in the 2019 mayoral election.

Lisa Calderon endorses Mike Johnston for Denver mayor

Johnston was not present at the press conference as Calderon said she chose to announce her decision independently. She based her decision on input from community leaders and on candidate interviews on topics that included economic justice, public safety and immigration.

She released a “scorecard” that included 79 different positions. The scorecard showed that Johnston committed to 74 of those positions compared to 66 for Brough. See the scorecard here.

Calderon is a key endorsement for Johnston, whose supporters also include State Rep. and former mayor candidate Leslie Herod, former Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party Morgan Carroll, and former mayor candidate Ean Thomas Tafoya.

Brough’s endorsements include former Mayor Wellington Webb and his wife, Wilma, former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Colorado State Sen. and mayoral candidate Chris Hansen and the Denver Police Union.

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