05/10/2011 04:21 pm ET Updated Jul 10, 2011

Denver Mayoral Runoff 2011: Ritter Endorses Hancock For Mayor

The Denver mayoral runoff is heating up with political figures now siding with either candidate, giving each campaign a much needed jolt -- Former Governor and District Attorney Bill Ritter officially announced his endorsement of mayoral candidate Michael Hancock this afternoon in a news conference, and pre-runoff mayoral candidate James Mejia formerly endorsed Chris Romer just hours before.

Ritter has a long and well-known relationship with the Romer family and this move to support Hancock for Denver mayor may come as a surprise to some. Chris Romer’s father, former Governor Roy Romer appointed Ritter to the District Attorney position in 1993. However, as 9News reports, Ritter and Hancock have known each other for years as well as colleagues, they even traveled together on a trade mission to Japan and China to help grow Denver business back in 2008.

From 9News:

I've known Michael for almost 20 years. He's a strong leader who cares deeply about the people, neighborhoods and businesses of Denver. He demonstrates integrity at every turn, and he has the strength of character to make the tough but necessary decisions required to lead Denver forward. He's the kind of leader Denver needs.

Mejia made an official announcement on his Facebook page earlier this morning about his support of Romer:

In their endorsement, the Denver Post mentioned that there are two candidates ready to be Mayor – me and Chris Romer. Now, only Chris Romer remains in the race and I unequivocally support his candidacy to become the next mayor of Denver. Our campaigns will merge completely, I will take a prominent role in Chris Romer’s mayoral bid and together we will ensure that Denverites are put back to work, that Denver is positioned as the sustainability capital of the West, that our world-class city has a world-class education system, and that we maintain our excellent arts and culture system.