Rep. Paul Rosenthal has two primary challengers in his re-election bid in House District 9, but he doesn’t lack support from fellow Democrats close to home.
Rosenthal has key endorsements from former State Sen. Joyce Foster, Denver Councilwoman Kendra Black, Denver Public Schools board member Anne Rowe, and RTD board member Claudia Folska.
Rosenthal said his campaign slogan is “Building Coalitions, Getting Results.”
“Over the years, I’ve seen Paul lead in this community, especially on climate change, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ and affordable housing issues,” Foster, also a former Denver city councilwoman, said in a statement. “He’s a good man who works hard, cares deeply, and has helped so many people. What I really admire is how he connects with people at his innovative events and brings individuals and groups to the Capitol to meet legislators. We need responsive people like Paul in the legislature.”
Rosenthal is seeking is fourth and final two-year term in the House representing the southeast Denver district. He faces primary challenges from Emily Sirota and veteran Ashley Wheeland.
The race will be one to watch. Last year a Democratic campaign operative accused Rosenthal of touching him improperly at a party. The charge was dismissed after an House investigation, as the allegation pre-dated Rosenthal’s service in the legislature. He denies it ever happened.
Last week, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders endorsed Sirota, as did state Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, former Denver Public Schools board members James Mejia and Jeannie Kaplan and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Rosenthal’s campaign joked that he was endorsed by Bernie, too — “long-time and well known HD9 Democratic activist also named Bernie, namely Bernie Steinberg.”
Rosenthal’s campaign noted in a statement his endorsements were “from progressive leaders and activists who live in — or have led — in the area of House District 9.”
“My friends, neighbors, and constituents in southeast Denver know me well,” Rosenthal stated. “They know how I’ve been devoted to helping people, especially students who deserve more recognition for their success, refugees, LGBTQ and those struggling families who need assistance to get ahead.”
His other endorsements from Democrats within the district include: Dr. Faye Rison, Ron and Bobbi Morrow, John Stoffel, Mike and Elizabeth Bono, Roger Armstrong, Ted and Deborhah Dreith-Calloway, Dianne Tramutola-Lawson, Lee McDonnell, Kathy Steinberg, Larry and Cynthia Gallegos, David and Myra Rieger, Steve Bennett, Harry Bailis, Julie Friedemann, Kip Sleichter, Sam Valeriano, Ben and Selene Gochman, Gayle Stallings, Sarah Shirazi, Sandy Mandel, Londa Coddington, Dorie Furman, Peter Kandell and George Harding, Cecilia Mascarenas, AJ Shaikh and Eddie Valle, Scott Bates, Barry Cohen, Bert and Diane Hansen and Deborah Barnard among others, the campaign said.
He also has been endorsed by fellow legislative Democrats, including Sen. Angela Williams of Denver, Rep. James Coleman of Denver, Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver, Rep. Joann Ginal of Fort Collins, Rep. Edie Hooton of Boulder and Rep. Donald Valdez of La Jara, as well as Pitkin County Commissioner Rachel Richards.