Voting for a $10,000 pay raise four weeks out of the start of the Denver mayor’s race was a risky act ($5,000 for council members). Although it was not a surprise Doug Linkhart would support it, one of the City Council’s strongest liberals, it caused a major controversy in Councilman Michael Hancock’s campaign. Hancock, a smart and usually careful politician, who was running a strong second in the mayoral money race, caused a firestorm of criticism within his campaign and provided his opponents considerable ammunition for the final weeks of the campaigning and the runoff if he should make it.
The salary issue became a needed reprieve for mayoral campaign watchers from a mostly lackluster and issueless race. How Hancock handles the issue may decide if he remains a leading candidate.
See Denver Post and 9News articles:
Pay-raise issue divides mayoral field
Four of 6 leading Denver mayoral candidates rip council vote to raise officials’ salaries
Denver mayoral candidates would return raises