Mejia backs Romer in Denver mayoral race

1:32 PM, May 9, 2011   |    comments
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Former Denver school board member James Mejia announced Monday that he's decided to back Romer, the top vote finisher in last week's 10-way election.

Romer, the son of former Gov. Roy Romer, faces Denver City Councilman Michal Hancock in the June 7 runoff election.

Mejia finished just behind Romer and Hancock with 25.7 percent of the vote.

Mejia spokesman Berrick Abramson said Romer is the candidate who can best integrate Mejia's agenda - including supporting local businesses and improving schools. He said the endorsement will lead to a full merger of the two campaign operations.

Mejia released the following statement regarding his choice to endorse Romer:

"Over a year ago I entered the Mayoral campaign because after a decade of serving the last two Mayors, I believe I have a perspective and ideas that can best serve Denver. Throughout the campaign I believe that some of those ideas were embodied by precise, specific and well written policies to Move Denver Forward. I am very proud of my team that took a relatively unknown candidate to receiving over 26 percent of the vote in this campaign.

The most politically expedient decision in the race is to not endorse one of the remaining two candidates. We ran a highly respected race and if I were to stay out of the race, it wouldn't create any ill will. But I talked to my campaign team and family about it, and this is a team decision. We entered the Mayoral race because of our ideas for Denver and now we see a clear way of implementing those programs and policies.

I know Michael Hancock well. We have known each other for 20 years and I respect his work and his career. I also know Chris Romer and the Romer family. Chris' brother Tom and I went to high school together. But this isn't about who I know best, this is about who is best equipped to move Denver forward.

In their endorsement, the Denver Post mentioned that there are two candidates ready to be Mayor - me and Chris Romer. Now, only Chris Romer remains in the race and I unequivocally support his candidacy to become the next mayor of Denver.

Our campaigns will merge completely, I will take a prominent role in Chris Romer's mayoral bid and together we will ensure that Denverites are put back to work, that Denver is positioned as the sustainability capital of the West, that our world-class city has a world-class education system, and that we maintain our excellent arts and culture system.

I look forward to working with Chris Romer and wholeheartedly support his campaign to become the next Mayor of Denver."

Monday morning, Denver mayoral candidate Michael Hancock released a statement in response to Mejia's decision:

"I know this was not an easy decision for James to make. He ran a great campaign and I wish him luck in his future endeavors. From the beginning of our campaign, we knew this was going to be a race earned through hard work. I am no stranger to struggle and am determined to win this race. We will continue to build momentum and will work hard to earn the support of Denver voters over the next four weeks, including those who voted for James. We are all Denver and we welcome Mejia supporters to Team Hancock."

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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