AURORA | Former and current leaders in Aurora, the metro region and the nation are lining up to endorse their pick for mayor as election day nears.

Last weekend marked rising stakes in the race with gun control advocate Gabby Giffords endorsing and stumping for Omar Montgomery, now Denver Congressman Diana DeGette, who does not represent Aurora, is following suit. 

“Omar is the kind of leader Aurora deserves and our regional partners need. He is a collaborator who puts communities first,” she said in a statement. “As a federal elected leader, I know the importance of working together on the needs in our region, including those of our veterans, transportation, and affordable housing. I look forward to working with Omar on the issues impacting so many of us.”

Former Aurora Mayor Paul Tauer, who served the position from 1987 until 2003, endorsed Ryan Frazier, who served on the city council in the early 2000s. 

“I believe Ryan is the leader we need for Aurora,” Tauer said in a statement. “Ryan is honest with a clear vision for Aurora that is needed in these changing times. He loves Aurora, has worked for Aurora, and will build bridges throughout our city that ensures Aurora’s best days are ahead. I ask all of us who care about the future of our city to vote Ryan Frazier for mayor on November 5, 2019.”

Candidate Marsha Berzins, who presently represented Ward III and served as mayor pro tem during the death of former Mayor Steve Hogan, picked up an endorsement from Norma Walker, the city’s only woman mayor in history.

Walker served as mayor for two years, from 1965-1967.

Former council member Barb Cleland also endorsed Berzins.

Candidate Mike Coffman is boasting support from Nadine Caldwell, who served on the city council for 16 years, and former Aurora mayor Dennis Champine, who served on the dais from 1979 until 1987. 

“I’ve known Mike Coffman since he came home from the Marines and started an Aurora-based property management firm in 1983. What first impressed me about Mike was how involved he was in our city. I don’t think I could go to a City Council meeting or to a community event without running into Mike. He was everywhere,” Champine said in a statement. “I’m honored to endorse Mike Coffman for Mayor of the City of Aurora.  It’s hard to find anyone more dedicated to the City of Aurora than Mike Coffman. I know that he will make a great mayor because of his love for Aurora and his record of leadership in making a difference in the military, in business, and in government.”

Renie Peterson, the former Ward II councilwoman running for mayor, has not announced any endorsements yet.

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer