BY FREDA MIKLIN
As is the practice in most cities, Aurora City Council members are elected to four-year staggered terms, thus half the council’s ten members are on the ballot every two years. This year, representatives of Wards IV, V, and VI, along with two of the four at-large members will be elected.
The mayor’s term is also four years and it is up for election this year. At the top of the ticket, incumbent Mayor Mike Coffman is running for a second term. He is being challenged by one-term Ward IV City Council Member Juan Marcano. Also on the ballot is Jeffrey Sanford, a program analyst at Defense Health Agency, according to his social media. We could find no record of him running for a city office previously.
The mayor serves on a non-partisan basis but Marcano’s campaign website announces he is a Democrat and Coffman has held multiple elective offices at the state level before being elected to Congress, where he served for ten years. In all those positions, he was a declared member of the GOP.
Elected officials in Aurora are limited to three consecutive four-year terms, but that 12 years can be extended if a city council member changes from representing a district to being an at-large representative, or vice-versa, during vtheir tenure, as two incumbent members of city council are seeking to do this year.
Alison Coombs, Curtis Gardner, Jono Scott, and Thomas Mayes are competing for the two at-large positions on the ballot. Gardner is an at-large incumbent and Coombs is currently finishing her first term as the Ward V representative. Both Scott and Mayes are pastors and ran for the Aurora City Council previously, Mayes in 2019 and Scott in 2021.
New city council candidates Stephanie Hancock and Jonathan Gray are competing to represent Ward IV, which is an open seat because the incumbent, Juan Marcano, is challenging Mayor Coffman. Although city council is a non-partisan position, Gray’s website announces he is a Democrat and Hancock ran as a Republican against incumbent Democratic State Rep. Iman Jodeh for the general assembly in 2022, so their party affiliations are out front.
Seeking to represent Aurora Ward V are Angela Lawson, who would like to switch her representation to this ward after completing two four-year terms as an at-large member of the city council. Her opponent is Chris Rhodes, a union organizer. This is an open seat because the current occupant, one-term Council Member Alison Coombs, is running for the at-large position being vacated by Lawson.
Francoise Bergan is hoping to be elected to a third and final term representing Aurora’s Ward VI. She is being challenged by Brian Matise, a retired attorney with expertise in commercial litigation and metro districts.
On Thursday, September 28, the League of Women Voters, Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Aurora Business and Professional Women, and Aurora Sentinel are co-sponsoring a candidate forum that will feature all the competitors for Aurora mayor and city council. It will be held in the city council chambers in the Aurora Municipal Center at 15151 E. Alameda Parkway from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 pm.
The forum will be streamed and video-recorded by Aurora TV, so anyone can watch it anytime via the internet.