The 2011 Denver Mayoral Race Quiz

AS DENVER’S MAYORAL campaign nears the finish line, we wanted to reward readers who have paid close attention to the race — and amuse those who haven’t — with a quiz about the marathon endeavor.

File photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

It’s been a long campaign. Around the first of the year, in the dead of winter, some 18 candidates had declared they were running for mayor in a wide-open bid for the seat left vacant by popular two-term Mayor John Hickenlooper, who stepped down in January after being elected governor. By the time petitions were verified, there were 10 candidates on the ballot, and the race was on for the May 3 general election. (Citing low poll numbers, candidate Carol Boigon withdrew from the race two weeks before the election and threw her support to Michael Hancock.)

On election night, three candidates — Chris Romer, Hancock and James Mejia — vied for the top two spots and a place in the June 7 runoff, separated by roughly 1,500 votes and just over a percentage point apiece. When all the votes were counted, Romer and Hancock emerged and a sharper campaign ensued. Following the general election, former candidates Mejia and Theresa Spahn endorsed Romer, while Doug Linkhart joined Boigon endorsing Hancock.

You won’t find questions about Romer’s five first steps toward fixing the city budget or about Hancock’s plans for his first 100 days in office — there’s been plenty of serious news coverage, scorecards and questionnaires addressing the more weighty policy matters in the race. Likewise, there are no questions about cupcakes, creationism, negative advertising or heckling — anyone paying attention to the race has been inundated with those topics and deserves a break.


1. Which of the following Denver residents did not publicly flirt with a run for mayor earlier this year?

a. Walter Isenberg
b. Linda Alvarado
c. Buzz Geller
d. Guillermo “Bill” Vidal
e. Cary Kennedy

2. One of the mayoral candidates has parents who share their names with the title of a popular movie. What are the parents’ names?

a. Turner and Hooch
b. Rocky and Bullwinkle
c. Benny and Joon
e. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
d. Akeelah and the Bee

3-8. Match the candidate and the location of his or her main campaign headquarters.

3. Carol Boigon
4. Michael Hancock
5. Doug Linkhart
6. James Mejia
7. Chris Romer
8. Theresa Spahn

a. City Park
b. Five Points
c. Cherry Creek
d. Golden Triangle
e. Jefferson Park
f. Capitol Hill

9. At an April debate in a LoDo bar, Fox31 reporter Eli Stokols challenged the candidates to do what dance?

a. The Hokey-Pokey
b. The Electric Slide
c. The Macarena
d. The Dougie
e. The Barnes Dance

10. At the Candidate Survivor debate, which two candidates did not say Jeff Peckman would get his or her vote if they weren’t in the race?

a. Carol Boigon
b. Michael Hancock
c. Doug Linkhart
d. James Mejia
e. Chris Romer
f. Theresa Spahn

11. In total, the phrase “pot holes” appear how many times anywhere on the campaign websites of Romer, Hancock and Mejia?

a. 0
b. 1
c. 3
d. 5
e. 16

12. Which popular book’s title has not found its way into Romer’s stump speeches?

a. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
b. Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns-Godwin
c. The Next Level, by David Gregory
d. The Power of Pull, by John Hagel and John Seely Brown
e. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

13-17. Some of the candidates could have inspired drinking games. Match the candidate with his or her frequently used phrase.

13. Jeff Peckman
14. Thomas Wolf
15. Ken Simpson
16. James Mejia
17. Chris Romer

a. “We’re going to have those long-overdue conversations.”
b. “Some of this is explained on my website.”
c. “I know what it takes to get more out of less.”
d. “Unlike all of you, I’m an average citizen.”
e. “I’m a businessman.”

18. At the New Era Colorado debate, Hancock held up a carrot to demonstrate what campaign proposal?

a. Return rabbits to Washington Park
b. Develop a system of urban gardens to create jobs
c. Make sure no Denver child has poor eyesight
d. Challenge Denver to lose 1 million pounds in 100 days
e. Negotiate pay cuts for city employees “using a carrot, not a stick”

19-24. Match the candidate with the self-described little-known fact about him or herself.

19. Carol Boigon
20. Michael Hancock
21. Doug Linkhart
22. James Mejia
23. Chris Romer
24. Theresa Spahn

a. Has run more than 50 marathons
b. Didn’t graduate high school
c. Known as “Cannonball” to fellow mountain bikers
d. Paid for college using mother’s winnings from the horse track
e. Drove off with gas nozzle still attached to car
f. First paying job was Broncos mascot

25. Before his campaign adopted “We Are All Denver,” what was the Hancock campaign slogan?

a. Born to Run
b. The One with the Bus
c. Ready on Day One
d. Better than the Will Smith Movie
e. We Are Denver

26. On the day after the general election, Hancock said that, if elected, he wouldn’t act like a “bull in a china store.” The next morning, at a debate in downtown Denver, what did Romer say he would do?

a. “I’m going to ride a bull at next year’s Stock Show.”
b. “I’m going to break some china.”
c. “If you break a piece of your wedding china, I’ll fix it.”
d. “I’m going to lead a trade delegation to China. No bull.”
e. “I’m going to be very careful and not bump into anything.”

27. A couple weeks before the election, Romer showed up at debates brandishing what small object?

a. a plastic dinosaur
b. a tiny video camera
c. a fluorescent orange rabbit’s foot
d. a 1970s-era pocket calculator
e. a tiny bust of Abraham Lincoln

28. Which phrase began appearing on Romer yard signs during the runoff campaign?

a. Team Denver
b. Roy’s Son
c. Like a Box of Chocolates
d. Mejia — United for Denver
e. Cannonball — Look Out Below

29. In news accounts and blog posts about the independent political committee Citizens for Accountability, the group and its campaign materials were described as:

a. “Secretive”
b. “Ironically named”
c. “Shadowy”
d. “Leans deceptive”
e. All of the above

30. Following the May 29 release of a Denver Post/9News poll conducted by Survey USA that showed Hancock with a 10-point lead, Romer and his campaign had what response?

a. A campaign spokeswoman challenged the polling firm’s reliability, saying Survey USA has “yet to poll Latinos even remotely accurately.”
b. Romer told a reporter, “Michael Hancock has always been the front-runner in this race.”
c. A campaign spokeswoman pointed to a June 2010 Survey USA poll that showed Hickenlooper tied with Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis as proof the pollsters sometimes missed the mark.
d. Rolled up sleeves, knocked on doors.
e. All of the above


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