Kelly Brough is pitching herself as the experience candidate in the 2023 Denver mayor’s race.
Since arriving in Denver in 1986 from her native Montana, she has compiled a long resume that touches on everything from day-to-day government operations to economic development work on a regional level.
She led the city’s human resources department, worked as a City Council legislative analyst, was chief of staff to John Hickenlooper for a key portion of his mayoral tenure and then led the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for 12 years.
In a city with a 2023 budget of $3.75 billion and over 14,000 employees including uniformed, part-time and on-call workers, being the mayor is like being the executive of a large and complicated corporation in Brough’s view. It’s something she says she is uniquely ready to handle.
“On day one, I can start leading the city and addressing the issues we need to address with no learning curve I think that has real value,” Brough said.
Know-how and experience can be selling points. The city is facing some complex challenges when it comes to issues like crime, growing homelessness and unanswered questions around the future of a downtown core that is still ghostly quiet compared to the hustle of bustle of pre-pandemic life.
The Brough campaign has released detailed policy proposals on some of those issues already but the candidate herself can draw from her well of experiences to set the table for how she and her would-be mayoral administration would respond to good times and bad.
She negotiated contracts with the city’s police, fire and sheriff’s departments during the Great Recession. When Denver’s economy was booming in the late 2010s, Brough said the chamber dug into data and launched Prosper Colorado, an initiative aimed at addressing disparities based on race and gender.
She has never held elected office before, but Brough has helped run a Denver mayoral campaign (Susan Casey’s failed mayoral bid in 2003) and understands the importance of story and message.
Her campaign slogan is “Believe in the promise of Denver.”
Her two daughters are in their late 20s now but they are still at the core of her reason for running, she said.
“I mostly felt like I’m not leaving my daughters a city that I am proud of. And I think we can do better. And I think it takes all of us working together to do that,” she said.
Kelly Brough leaving the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce after 12 years
Five big ideas from five Denver mayoral candidates as campaign season heats up
Kelly Brough is running for Denver mayor in 2023
While she has had high-profile roles as an administrator and executive, Brough has emphasized some of her human experiences on the campaign trail, whether it’s talking about her time as an on-call plow driver for the city at the now long-gone Stapleton International Airport or talking about personal tragedy and its impact on her life. Her father was murdered before she was even a year old.
“Obviously, I don’t remember but I do know what my mom had to go through and how long it takes a family to find its way out of such trauma and loss,” Brough said. “My own family has lived many of the issues Denverites are facing today; struggling to find opportunities, struggling with addiction, losing people you love to violent crime, the devastating effects of gun violence, needing help and safety nets in your life.”
Stay up-to-date with Colorado Politics by signing up for our weekly newsletter, The Spot.
Source: Read Full Article