THE BLOG
05/26/2011 01:40 pm ET | Updated Jul 26, 2011

Denver Mayoral Race Heats Up With Hecklers and... a Romer Running Mate?

With ballots mailed out for the June 7 municipal runoff election, the mayoral race has finally heated up with competition, drama and bit of confusion.

From the looks of the ballot, there are two men left standing: Chris Romer and Michael Hancock. But last week, Romer signs began appearing around Denver with a second name, James Mejia. It's as if Mejia is Romer's running mate without explicitly stating what role Mejia would play in a Romer administration.

Clip of Denver Diatribe Podcast #34: The Mayoral Race for the Rapture Edition by Denver Diatribe To listen to the entire episode, click here.

Mejia lost to Romer by less than 1400 votes, and endorsing Romer would make sense. But Mejia not only put his name behind the candidate but his entire campaign, handing over his staff. With a close race, even a percentage of Mejia voters siding with Romer could be the difference needed. To be fair, Mejia has a history of stepping up for city jobs when needed, but what exactly that job would be should Romer get elected seems up in the air.

In fact, the election is still up in the air. Currently, polls show the Romer/Mejia ticket trailing slightly behind Michael Hancock. Perhaps the result of a close race, Romer has rolled out new attack ads and is being attacked for the tactic. Last week, hecklers took on Romer for criticizing Hancock's creationist beliefs. But rumors say Romer received a more painful chiding. Some say former mayor and current governor John Hickenlooper called the Romer campaign to complain about the attack ads. Hickenlooper has a reputation for fair fighting and running a clean campaign. His name is attached to the Romer bid, and he must be concerned that his reputation is as well when the gloves come off.

To his credit, Hancock has held back the attacks, though Romer surely has some baggage to be used as ammunition. Hancock has pledged from the start to keep it clean, while Romer only alluded to a clean campaign.

Will Romer pull back the attack, or will Hancock fire back? And will Mejia split governorship? The coming weeks will tell.

The Denver Diatribe is a weekly podcast about culture, politics and stuff as it pertains to Denver, Colorado. Listen to "Denver Diatribe Podcast #34: The Mayoral Race for Rapture Edition" and other episodes at Denverdiatribe.com. Subscribe to the Denver Diatribe on iTunes and check them out on Facebook.