In mid-December, Denver City council member Rafael Espinoza announced that he would suspend his re-election campaign. Espinoza, who has fought against developers throughout his time on City Council, said he feels he’ll be able to make an impact as a private citizen.
“When I was asked to run for office, I was hopeful that you would give me the opportunity to represent you and the rest of our community on City Council,” said Espinoza in a statement where he announced he won’t run for City Council again. “I told you that I would not beholden to developers, special interests, the Mayor’s Office, or even fellow council members.”
His announcement created an opportunity for others who are planning to run for Denver City Council like Amanda Sandoval, Espinoza’s former staffer.
“Today, I officially filed to run for Denver City Council, District 1. My family and I want to thank you for all the support in making this decision. We are truly blessed to be a part of the NW Denver Community,” tweeted Sandoval. Sandoval is currently the program manager for the Denver Fire Department.
Sandoval is the daughter of Paul Sandoval ormer Colorado State Senator and Mary Helen Sandoval, f. Her father was known as the godfather of Colorado politics and he worked on things like bilingual education and pollster strategy. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and `passed away in 2012.
Sandoval offers, “I grew up in my family’s restaurant, La Casita, surrounded by community activists. This experience taught me the value of giving back, and that is why I am running to be the next District 1, City Council representative. My vision is one of reflective representation and creating an environment where the community is engaged in the decision-making process, while utilizing my land-use expertise to preserve the area’s unique character and creating attainable housing options.”
Espinoza has previously said that he hoped Sandoval would run for his position, and he expressed how she loves the district, is passionate and how she is learning valuable information about the job.
Among those who will be running against Sandoval are North High School restorative justice coordinator Raven Porteous, Denver Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Somma, renters’ advocate David Sabados and Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission chair Victoria Aguilar.
The vote that will impact Denver’s government is scheduled for May 7, and there will be over 60 candidates looking to fill seats in the city’s government. On Feb. 12, the West Colfax Association of Neighbors hosted brief speeches and question and answer sessions at Confluence Ministries for District 1 candidates. Outside of District 1, the clerk elections were also a topic at the event. That race will see Paul Lopez, a current Denver City council member and Peg Perl, a former attorney for Colorado Ethics Watch – a campaign finance watchdog that stopped its work in 2017.
Sandoval’s website is www.amandasandoval.com, and she can be found on Twitter at @sasndovalforcd1 and