Aurora City Council during its March 28, 2022 meeting at city hall

AURORA | All six Aurora City Council members whose terms of office are set to expire this fall are hoping to remain on the dais, facing down a slate of six outsiders.

Some councilors are seeking new roles — like progressive Juan Marcano, who will square off against conservative Mike Coffman for the mayorship — while others are campaigning for re-election — like Francoise Bergan, defending her seat representing the city’s southernmost ward against a challenge from Democrat Brian Matise.

The election comes amid heightened partisan tension around the city’s approach to public safety, police reform, homelessness, affordable housing, growth and other policy questions.

While city council races are officially nonpartisan — the ballots marked by voters do not include the party affiliation of candidates — council members often split along partisan lines when voting on controversial topics.

The mayorship, two at-large council seats and three ward-based council seats are up for election this November.

Candidates for the 2023 election, with party affiliations indicated where known, include:

  • MAYORMike Coffman (R), a former congressman and military veteran, and Aurora’s incumbent mayor; Juan Marcano (D), a former architectural designer and current Ward IV council member; and Jeffrey Sanford, whose Facebook campaign page describes him as having a background in military service and public administration.
  • COUNCIL MEMBER, AT-LARGE — 2 SEATSAlison Coombs (D), residential program manager for an agency serving special needs adults and current Ward V council member; Curtis Gardner (R), a local government liaison in the solid waste industry and incumbent at-large council member; Thomas Mayes (D), a local pastor; and Jono Scott (R), a local pastor.
  • COUNCIL MEMBER, WARD IVJonathan Gray (D), a county finance department employee and former teacher; and Stephanie Hancock (R), a small business owner.
  • COUNCIL MEMBER, WARD VAngela Lawson (U), a former employee of the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and current at-large council member; and Chris Rhodes (D), a union organizer.
  • COUNCIL MEMBER, WARD VI Francoise Bergan (R), a former manager and business consultant, and incumbent Ward VI council member; and Brian Matise (D), a retired attorney.

Aurora’s municipal election will take place Nov. 7. Mail ballots are expected to be mailed out beginning Oct. 16, according to county election officials. 

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  1. Although editorials will contain political views, newspapers often claim their reporting is evenhanded. The Sentinel failed that test again.
    The city charter states that elections in Aurora are nonpartisan. The majority of council voted against a resolution by Juan Marcano, a Democratic socialist, who wanted to change that and make the elections partisan.
    Now along comes the Sentinel giving Marcano his wish by emphasizing the political affiliation of candidates in a nonpartisan election. That is certainly legal, but it is also certainly biased in favor of Marcano’s failed motion.

    1. Why are you upset that voters are getting more information? Don’t you think it’s troubling that Republican council members didn’t want voters to know their affiliation?

      Good on the Sentinel. I hope other publications follow suit.

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