Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has socked away just over $400,000 in his campaign savings account 15 months before he will ask voters for a third term, according to his latest campaign finance report.
The year-end report covering all of 2017 shows Hancock stepped up his fundraising game, holding more events that helped him collect more than $235,000 from reliable donors. They included lobbyists, developers, city officials, contractors, attorneys, businesses and business leaders. His haul was an increase over his 2016 fundraising total of $77,000.
Hancock’s campaign reported spending nearly $97,000 in 2017, much of it going to fundraising expenses, a pollster and a bookkeeping consultant.
Hancock easily won a second term in 2015, when he faced a field of unfunded opponents. But political observers say he’s likely to attract a more serious challenge in the May 2019 election, given continuing public outcry over rising housing costs, the pace of development and the effects of rapid population growth.
So far, one challenger has filed paperwork to run: Kayvan Khalatbari, a pizza shop owner and marijuana industry entrepreneur who has taken Hancock to task for his approaches on housing, homelessness and the environment, among other issues, as well as the mayor’s support for the Interstate 70 expansion project.
Khalatbari planned to file his campaign finance report later Wednesday. He said it would show he raised about $30,000 last year and self-donated another $30,000. He says he plans to focus more on fundraising in the coming year.
Hancock is in a strong financial position compared to the same point in his first term.
At the end of 2013, he actually reported raising quite a bit more — $374,000 — in the previous year. But because his easy re-election in 2015 enabled him to save some of the $1.3 million he raised in that cycle, he is in a stronger position now in terms of cash on hand, with $401,423 saved versus $258,180 at the end of 2013.
Donors who maxed out on the $3,000 contribution limit for the 2019 cycle included Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day, developer and philanthropist Larry Mizel, lobbyists Josh Hanfling and R.D. Sewald, both attorney Cole Finegan and his firm Hogan Lovells, oilman Sam Gary, Gary Community Investments President and CEO David Younggren (as well as his wife, Deborah) and ABM Industries, whose subsidiary ABM Parking Services has a $178 million shuttle bus contract at DIA.
Michael Hancock’s 2017 campaign finance report: