AURORA | Before he was even old enough to vote, Timothy Hogan was well-versed in the minutiae of municipal government.
With his dad, the late Mayor Steve Hogan, and his step mom, former Councilwoman Barb Cleland, both serving on council during his childhood, Aurora residents regularly called the family’s home hoping to speak to their council rep.
Sometimes it was a call about a noise issue, other times it could be snowplowing or pothole repair.
“Often times we would sit there and end up talking with them because our parents weren’t there,” he said.
Last month, just a few days after his dad died from cancer, Hogan filed paperwork to replace him as Aurora’s mayor. City Council whittled the list of mayoral finalists to four last week and is expected to appoint a new mayor in the coming days.
The other three finalists — Bob LeGare, Renie Peterson and Debi Hunter-Holen — are all current or former city council members, prominent from years spent on the council dais.
But Hogan is less of a known quantity.
The 43-year-old Aurora native hasn’t held elected office before, and while he has worked on many of his father’s campaigns — including as treasurer of the elder Hogan’s last mayoral run — he hasn’t run his own bid for an office.
Hogan said he opted to apply for the appointment after some urging from former and current council members.
“If I didn’t put my name in, I would probably regret it,” he said.
Hogan said he has always planned to one day seek a seat on city council but didn’t want to do it while his dad was serving as mayor. He said he assumed he would run for an at-large seat after his father retired, but his father’s death this spring changed those plans.
Stepping into the mayor’s seat his dad once held would be a chance for him to carry out his dad’s vision for the city, he said. The former mayor had focused much in recent years on the city’s rapid northeastern growth.
Hogan said he would like to carry on that work and help ensure the vacant land near Denver International Airport develops in a positive way.
While he hasn’t held office before, Hogan said he is familiar with the challenges the aerotropolis development presents because it’s something he and his dad talked about often.
“These were regular dinner conversations,” he said.
Councilman Charlie Richardson said he has known Timothy Hogan for about his entire life. During the council votes that narrowed the finalists to four, he voted in favor of Hogan and Peterson.
He said he has no reservations about choosing a relative political newcomer for the post, especially considering Hogan’s background.
“He’s a very serious young man,” he said.
And having been raised by Mayor Hogan and Cleland, Richardson said he has no doubt the younger Hogan could hit the ground running.
“The Hogans have this political genetic makeup,” he said.
Hogan is the chief operating officer of a company called Elite Sterling Security, which sells body armor. The company’s catalog includes standard tactical bulletproof vests as well as bulletproof gear that looks like regular clothing.
He said if he is appointed mayor he would step down from his position at Elite Sterling Security.
In addition to his work in the body armor business, Hogan, a Freemason, has written six books. That work, as well as lecturing about “cross cultural symbolism” has led him to work on some “track II diplomacy.” That’s the practice of private citizens laying the groundwork for more-traditional, official diplomacy.
He said he worked with Israel, Turkey and U.S. officials after the controversial Gaza flotilla incident a few years ago and helped to smooth over relations between Turkey and Israel.
As for politics, Hogan, a registered Republican, said his politics are very similar to the moderate, middle-of-the-road approach his father took.
“I’m very much open to focusing more on what the needs of the community is with a particular issue as opposed to sticking with the party line,” he said.