2023 Denver mayoral race: Candidate Thomas Wolf shares his platform

Posted at 3:11 PM, Feb 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 15:51:40-04

Thomas Wolf is running for mayor for a second time. He previously ran in 2011.

Wolf works as an investment banker at CREWE. He received his master’s from the University of Denver. His family formerly lived in London but chose to move to Denver for “quality of life, cost of living, geography and its people,” according to his campaign website.

Wolf qualified for Denver Fair Elections Fund, according to city data. At the start of February, he received $107,694.70 in campaign funding. Nearly $88,000 of those contributions are from the Fair Elections Fund.

March 22 update |Response to the shooting of two deans at East High School in Denver:

"Condolences to all. Both of my daughters graduated from East, and experienced lockdowns, but fortunately not this mayhem. As your next Mayor I will remedy the paralysis within our safety department via strong competent leadership, so that law and order is restored, and our city and its schools are safe and protected."

Denver7's Chief Investigative Reporter asked Wolf about his plans if elected as Denver's next mayor. Watch their conversation or read a transcript below.

2023 Denver mayor race: Candidate Thomas Wolf shares his platform

Tony Kovaleski: Introduce yourself. Tell us your story.

Thomas Wolf: I think you have to introduce yourself by saying why you jumped into this sort of circus of 17 candidates trying to be the mayor of Denver. But you have to do it out of love and gratitude for the city, the great state of Colorado, and our flawed, though ever-evolving, world-leading social experiment that is America.

Tony Kovaleski: First question. Insiders tell us the four most important issues in this race are crime, homelessness, housing, and transportation. Rank them from most important to least important for you. And please explain why.

Thomas Wolf: That's an easy one. It needs to be — my focus, my singular focus — I have a science background. You have to go to first principles or root causes. And that is obviously the encampments. They're destroying our city physically, mentally and financially. So, we have to acknowledge that's a humanitarian crisis. Shelter is the answer from city buildings and land. And to not do that is inhumane and inexcusable.

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Tony Kovaleski: Ranking the others two, three and four?

Thomas Wolf: That — it doesn't matter. Until you solve encampments, until you remedy that problem, they affect everything else. And that and they're constituent pieces within safety, crime, health and human safety, all of those issues. So, there's only one issue in this campaign and it's who's going to confront and control the encampments and get the neediest of Denver sheltered. Full stop.

Tony Kovaleski: OK, a follow-up question then based upon your No. 1 priority. What are you going to be able to do to address it? And how would that be different than your other competitors?

Thomas Wolf: Sure. I'm certain that this is what we do. So, you have to have the resolve, the backbone and the thick skin to do it. Here's an example. OK, when I say city buildings or land, we have an old jail that is a habitable structure. It has plumbing. It has lighting and heating. It's currently being used for confiscated cannabis. So we're being more humane to cannabis than we are to the people I saw outside your studio on the curb. That just makes no sense. It's not good for our city.

Tony Kovaleski: Next question. Denver, like many cities, has financial issues. What would be your priority in the financial realm? And where would you trim?

Thomas Wolf: The biggest issue we have that's impacting the city, and when I say financially on the encampments, our upper downtown is experiencing an exodus. I'm aware of a property there that's given up $40 million in value that just disappeared. The owner walked from his equity; the bond holder put it to auction. That's $40 million, and it's roughly, that translates into our property tax base, which we'll have you know, as the predominant funder of DPS, and it's maybe 11 or 12% of my city budget. So, if you don't solve that, you know, we have a lot bigger issues.

Tony Kovaleski: Denver's a wonderfully diverse city. Will you make a commitment if you win to ensure that your administration reflects the diversity of the city? And if yes, how?

Thomas Wolf: I mean, everything starts with merit. So, you build a great team that way. All of those segments are represented as very high-caliber folks, I've run into them on the campaign trail, within our universities locally, different business groups and a lot of the existing talent that's within the city, that you can connect with that.

Tony Kovaleski: City council has the potential for a significant change in this election. Again, if you're successful, and you become Denver's next mayor, how are you planning to work with the new council? And what will that relationship look like?

Thomas Wolf: Well, I think you know, that their portfolio is really land use. My portfolio is more how do we allocate resources properly within the budget. I tried to meet with the bulk of the existing seated members. And a lot of the folks that are out on the campaign trail right now — I think it's a very collaborative approach to get the best done for Denver on both sides of that equation.

Tony Kovaleski: If you could ask one candidate one question, who is the candidate? And what is that question?

Thomas Wolf: I probably got to go to Kelly Brough, who has mentioned that she's going to be — she said she's going to enforce the camping ban, says she's not going to enforce the camping ban. I think you have to be resolute and understand why you have to.

Tony Kovaleski: OK, and what's the last book you read and why? And what do you do for fun? This is a chance to get to know you.

Thomas Wolf: Very peculiar book, it was called "Putin's People." I had worked in an investment bank in London during the time where there's a lot of Russian dollars getting into London, and it kind of followed through on how you know, what that has wrought? And what we have with that leadership in Russia right now.

Tony Kovaleski: What do you do for fun?

Thomas Wolf: For fun, I try to stay in shape. Play a lot of different racquet sports. Since COVID, a little bit of pickup ball. I ride my bicycle a lot. Get into those mountains and see as much as I can.

Tony Kovaleski: Time for your closing statement. Look into the camera, talk to the voters of Denver. What do they need to know about you?

Thomas Wolf: Yeah, I think the only way you can succeed in this role is if you're exclusively focused on what you can do for Denver as a public servant. I think we've run into an issue of some insurmountable problems that a lot of candidates are not willing to take them on because they've historically looked at this job as a stepping stone to get to DC or something. In the business world, that's defined as a moral hazard. You flunked the fiduciary test. If you're not doing this job for Denverites, that's wrong. I've already lived in DC — have no interest in returning there. I would like to serve the citizens of Denver, remedy this current situation to get us on to bigger and brighter days.