Peña was outside city politics; Wellington Webb, the City Auditor, was inside; and, of course, John Hickenlooper, the LoDo businessman, outside.
In the 2011 election, the early candidates rumored and announced reflect the inside vs. outside dichotomy, with a few blending both.
Additional themes can become blended into the discussion. Do voters want change or continuity? New vision or steady management? A politician or a non-politician?
In the last election, Don Mares, the insider as City Auditor, won the right to challenge frontrunner Hickenlooper in the runoff. He was crushed. Whereas in the 1991 open seat election, Denver DA Norm Early, representing the outsider interests, won the first round, but lost decisively to insider Webb. Which shall it be in 2011 – insider or outsider?