Denver mayoral candidate Chris Hansen, a state senator, is seeking to portray his candidacy as the antidote to Denver's crime spike in his first TV commercial.
The commercial started running across stations on Tuesday morning, his campaign said, adding Hansen is the first candidate to start airing a TV ad.
"How did it come to this?" Hansen says in the ad, as a staccato of familiar Denver scenes — homeless tents on the streets, a street fight or perhaps a mugging, and mail theft in broad daylight — flash across the scene.
"This is not the Denver I want for our kids. And city hall’s response isn't working," Hansen adds as he puts a band-aid on a doorbell security camera.
"It is time for a new direction," Hansen says.
Hansen coincidentally released his TV commercial on the same day a new report from Common Sense Institute shows Denver's crime rates remain worse than before the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, making Colorado's biggest city among the most crime-ridden metro areas in America, notably when it comes to car theft.
Denver’s average monthly crime rate in 2022, with 77,976 crime incidents reported, stood 43% higher than in 2019, with 57,229 incidents reported. The 2022 rate also came in 75% higher compared to 2008, with District 9, which includes the Central Business District, Union Station and Five Points, holding by far the worst crime rate in the city, according to the report.
In a statement, the mayoral candidate said Denverites deserve to feel safe in their homes, parks, roads and sidewalks
“My administration will actually deliver results, reducing homelessness and building a highly trained and accountable public safety system that works for all of Denver," he said.
In the ad, Hansen makes a slew of promises, including auditing homeless programs and enforcing the camping ban across the city.
He'll also invest in a "highly-trained, accountable police," according to the ad.
"I have plans to solve these problems – not hide from them," he says.
Denver's general election is scheduled for April 4 — following a voter-approved move from its traditional date in early May — with a runoff scheduled for June 6 if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. In addition to mayor, Denver voters will elect an auditor, clerk and recorder and city council members to four-year terms.