Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan announces he has cancer, won’t seek reelection

Hogan said what he and his family had initially assumed was flu ended up being a far more serious diagnosis.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Aurora mayor Steve Hogan is honored by a priest. Hindu Durga Puja celebration held in Aurora's Lowry Park pavilion by the local community of Bhutanese/Nepali refugees. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  bhutanese refugees; nepali; hinduism; religion; puja; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;

Aurora mayor Steve Hogan is honored by a member of Aurora's resettled Bhutanese community during the annual Hindu Durga Puja celebration. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan announced Monday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Hogan made the announcement on his Facebook page, adding that he will not be seeking reelection in 2019. Hogan said what he and his family had initially assumed was flu ended up being a far more serious diagnosis. A similar announcement was sent to city employees on Monday morning.

“I have cancer,” Hogan’s message reads. “I am working closely with health care professionals to evaluate all treatment options which I anticipate beginning in the next week.”

While his health will be a focus, Hogan said in the announcement that he will continue serving as mayor.

“Please know that I have full faith and utmost respect for City Council, city management, employees and all our community partners,” Hogan said in his message. “It continues to be my professional privilege serve as Mayor of Aurora. I am honored to help lead Aurora forward.”

Hogan has served as Aurora’s mayor since November 2011. He ran unopposed in 2015 and was eligible to run for reelection in 2019. Hogan said its time for new leadership in a city he’s represented for 34 years, having served in the General Assembly and Aurora City Council.

“I would like to thank everyone for their unwavering support and friendship in this difficult time,” Hogan said in his message. “I must admit, I have taken the liberty of drawing on the collective strength of my family, friends and our great city and am ready to begin my journey to recovery. I humbly accept your prayers and certainly appreciate your well wishes. But I would ask that you take any concern or any angst and turn it to service—go do something great for Aurora!”

State Sen. Rhonda Fields, who represents Aurora in the General Assembly, said she’s known Hogan for about eight years. He knows her whole family and has always been supportive, sending Fields flowers when her parents passed away.

“He has been ill for quite some time, and every time I saw him, he kept saying, ‘I can’t get rid of this cold, this flu,'” Fields said Monday. “This is my first understanding that he has cancer. I haven’t had a really good opportunity to process this.”

Fields called Hogan a colleague and friend. She said Hogan has her “unconditional prayers and support” following the diagnosis. She praised Aurora’s growth and progress under Hogan’s leadership.

“I am saddened that he has to deal with this health issue,” Fields said.

Denver political consultant Chrissy Faraci, who has previously worked in Hogan’s political campaign, said Hogan is an icon of Colorado politics. She’s known him for more than 20 years.

“I’m heartbroken,” Faraci said. “He’s just a wonderful person and he’s been a tremendous leader and really a visionary for not only Aurora but Colorado in general.”

Faraci said she’s kept in contact with Hogan over text message in the past few weeks, but it’s gotten more challenging to stay in contact because of his situation. She extended her prayers to Hogan and his wife, Becky, and said she knows his family and friends will be there for support.

“Anyone that knows him can attest to the fact that he is a fighter,” Faraci said. “If anybody can beat cancer, he will and he will come back stronger than ever.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock tweeted out his support for Hogan on Monday afternoon.

“Mayor Hogan – you are a true gentleman and a great Mayor for your residents. You have supported so many, and now we all stand in support of you. I’m praying for your strength and triumph over cancer,” Hancock said in his tweet.