Denver First-Round Election Results Are In

Denver First-Round Election Results Are In

May 08, 2019

Client Alert

Brownstein Client Alert, May 8, 2019

Voters cast ballots Tuesday in the City and County of Denver to decide who will be mayor, auditor, clerk and recorder, and who will make up the 13-member city council. Voters were also asked to say yea or nay on two controversial citizen-initiated ballot measures regarding homelessness and magic mushrooms. In a crowded municipal election, seven races—including the race for mayor—are headed to a runoff on June 4.

Under Denver’s election rules, a candidate must receive 50% of the vote plus one vote to win in the first round, except for the at-large councilmember race in which the top two vote-getters are declared the winners. Runoffs are head-to-head contests between the top two vote-getters in each race.

Vote percentages are taken from the city’s published final unofficial results. There are 418,546 registered Denver voters, of which 185,081 (39.33%) cast ballots in this election.

Mayor: Runoff

  • Michael Hancock – incumbent (38.65%)
  • Jamie Giellis (24.88%)
  • Lisa Calderón (18.45%)
  • Penfield Tate (14.73%)
  • Kalyn Rose Heffernan (2.49%)
  • Seku Evans (0.74%)

Clerk and Recorder: Runoff

  • Paul López (36.87%)
  • Peg Perl (32.68%)
  • Sarah McCarthy (30.45%)
    NOTE: Incumbent Debra Johnson did not pursue another term

Auditor: Winner

  • Timothy O’Brien – incumbent/unchallenged (100%)

Councilmember District 1: Runoff

  • Amanda Sandoval (31.19%)
  • Mike Somma (16.99%)
  • Sabrina D'Agosta (13.43%)
  • Praj Kulkarni (11.09%)
  • Victoria Aguilar (9.84%)
  • David Sabados (9.60%)
  • Scott Alan Durrah (7.85%)
    NOTE: Incumbent Rafael Espinoza did not pursue another term

Councilmember District 2: Winner

  • Kevin Flynn – incumbent/unchallenged (100%)

Councilmember District 3: Runoff

  • Jamie Torres (40.31%)
  • Veronica Barela (36.26%)
  • Annie Martínez (15.32%)
  • Raymond Montoya (8.07%)
    NOTE: Incumbent Paul López was term-limited and ran for clerk and recorder

Councilmember District 4: Winner

  • Kendra Black – incumbent (77.84%)
  • Colleen Zahradnicek (22.16%)

Councilmember District 5: Runoff

  • Amanda Sawyer (40.69%)
  • Mary Beth Susman – incumbent (35.96%)
  • Michele Fry (15.90%)
  • Steve Replin (7.44%)

Councilmember District 6: Winner

  • Paul Kashmann – incumbent/unchallenged (100%)

Councilmember District 7: Winner

  • Jolon Clark – incumbent/unchallenged (100%)

Councilmember District 8: Winner

  • Chris Herndon – incumbent (51.19%)
  • Blair Taylor (20.25%)
  • Miguel Adrian Ceballos-Ruiz (9.97%)
  • Patrick Thibault (7.77%)
  • LaMone Noles (6.20%)
  • Erik Penn (4.56%)

Councilmember District 9: Runoff

  • Albus Brooks – incumbent (44.77%)
  • Candi CdeBaca (43.05%)
  • Jonathan Patrick Woodley (8.41%)
  • David Oletski (3.78%)

Councilmember District 10: Runoff

  • Wayne New – incumbent (39.05%)
  • Chris Hinds (30.32%)
  • Antonio Mendez (16.55%)
  • Tony Smith (14.07%)

Councilmember District 11: Winner

  • Stacie Gilmore – incumbent (73.77%)
  • Christine M. Alonzo (26.23%)

Councilmembers At-Large: Winners

  • Debbie Ortega – incumbent (36.16%)
  • Robin Kniech – incumbent (27.53%)
  • Tony Pigford (13.97%)
  • Lynne Langdon (10.45%)
  • Johnny Hayes (6.12%)
  • Jesse Lashawn Parris (5.76%)


Initiative 300 – Right to Survive: Failed

Initiative 300 would have reversed Denver’s 2012 camping ban by expressly allowing people to sleep and otherwise occupy any city-owned outdoor property, including parks, sidewalks and greenspace. The measure also would have allowed people to live in cars or other vehicles. Vocal opposition from the business community and a coalition of homeless service providers surely played a role in the overwhelming defeat of Initiative 300, with 81.22% voting against the measure and only 18.78% voting for it.

Initiative 301 – Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms: Passed/No Automatic Recount

Initiative 301 narrowly passed by a 50.56% to 49.44% margin, making Denver the first city in the country to decriminalize psychedelic, or magic, mushrooms. The measure prohibits the city from spending resources to prosecute personal use and possession of the drug by adults 21 and older and makes such crimes the city’s lowest law enforcement priority. Proponents of the measure argued that psychedelic mushrooms have medicinal benefits and are safer than opioids, marijuana or alcohol.

The spread of victory, though narrow, is too wide to trigger an automatic recount under Denver’s election rules. In Denver, an automatic recount is conducted only if the difference in the number of votes is less than or equal to one-half of 1% of the winning number of votes. Here, the number of votes cast for the ballot measure was 89,320, while the number of votes cast against the ballot measure was 87,341. One-half of 1% of the winning number of votes is 446.6 and the difference between the votes was 1,979; thus, there is no automatic recount. Any interested party may submit a request for recount by May 17, but must pay for the costs and expenses of the recount.

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