At their meeting last night, Denver City Council members wore orange in honor of their colleague, Carla Madison, who died last week. But Madison was not just in their hearts and thoughts: She was on the agenda, because people are lining up to run for her seat -- even as soon-to-be City Attorney David Broadwell is determining the rules for that very quick race.
Broadwell, who will replace David Fine when he moves on April 15, is a longtime lawyer with the City Attorney's Office, the go-to guy on a number of sticky legal issues -- including how to create a fast process for electing a councilmember in District 8, where Madison was running unopposed. The ballots have already been printed with her name and will be mailed this week. It's inevitable that people will vote for her, Broadwell told councilmembers, but state law is very clear: Any votes for her will not be counted, and the voters themselves will not be counted.
As in all the other district races, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the vote to win. Tossing out any votes for Madison will set a considerably lower hurdle.
That means any write-in candidates -- who must check in with the clerk and recorder's office by next Monday, proving that they've been resided in Denver for at least two years, have lived in District 8 at least one year, and are 25 years of age -- will not have to snag that many write-in votes in order to reach the 50 percent needed to win.
But less clear, Broadwell said, is just how much of a write-in candidate's name a voter must get right. In some elections, any write-in vote that isn't exact gets tossed; Denver is planning to take a kindler, gentler approach to what voters have in mind.
And it looks like they could have a wealth of candidates to choose from. Nita Henry announced that she was running yesterday afternoon at Brother Jeff's center. Rene Farkass is launching his campaign with a Facebook page. Comic entrepreneur Dan Stafford is planning to run. MMJ expert Warren Edson is looking at the race, and Paul Noel Fiorino, who had been running as a write-in candidate for mayor, may switch to the District 8 contest.
And today, Paul Weiss, Carla Madison's husband, will announce whether or not he will run for her seat.
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Other names in the mix, according to 7News: Adam Crowley, Steven Dewberry, Jake Fleck, Mark Iannucci, Thomas Henry Juniel, Owetta R. McNeil, Robert Price and Susan Whitehurst.
Start practicing your spelling if you live in District 8.