Former state senator Penfield Tate joins Denver’s mayoral race

A screengrab from Penfield Tate's ad for Denver mayor aired on Oct. 1, 2018, during a Monday Night Football game featuring the Denver Broncos.

A screengrab from Penfield Tate's ad for Denver mayor aired on Oct. 1, 2018, during a Monday Night Football game featuring the Denver Broncos.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Former state senator and current attorney Penfield Tate is running for mayor of Denver.

Denver Elections Divisions spokesperson Alton Dillard confirmed Monday that Tate has submitted one of four required documents to run for the city’s highest office. Tate will challenge two-term incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock.

Tate told 7News’ Tony Kovaleski on Sunday evening he was jumping into the mayoral race and was planning on making the announcement official on Monday night by airing an ad during the Denver Broncos’ Monday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Now I’m running for mayor to make city government accountable to the people,” Tate says in the ad. He continues by saying he will to bring down crimes and take on developers, “to protect open spaces and expand affordable housing.”

Kovaleski said Tate’s ad alludes to the controversy involving Hancock’s suggestive texts to a police detective. Tate says in the ad he will restore the public trust in city officials by creating a new code of ethics and “new commitment to integrity.”

“I’m fighting for the future of the city of Denver,” Tate told Kovaleski. “The idea was to get our message out there in front of a wide audience, as wide as possible.”

Tate represented District 33 in the state senate from 2000 to 2003 and District 8 in the Colorado House from 1996 to 2000, according to Colorado Politics. Tate previously served as Colorado campaign co-chair for Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne’s gubernatorial run. He is the son of late Boulder Mayor Penfield W. Tate II, who was the first and only African-American mayor to serve in Boulder. He mentions his father in his ad.

“When I was a kid, my father taught me that discrimination against one is discrimination against everyone,” Tate says in his ad. “I learned to respect people no matter how they look, how much they earn or who they love.”

Tate is listed as a partner in Kutak Rock LLP, a national firm with Denver offices. He did not immediately return a call to his office on Monday.

He joins Kayvan Khalatbari, Mark Andrew Giavanni and Kalyn Rose Heffernan among candidates hoping to unseat Hancock.

Denver’s municipal elections take place in May 2019.

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Election 2019