The race for the District 1 City Council seat in Northwest Denver has gone from snoozer to scramble. Paula Sandoval's March 2 announcement that she wouldn't seek reelection gave hopefuls just eight days to gather the 100 signatures needed to get on the ballot.
According to the Denver Elections Division website, seven candidates have submitted their petitions by last night's deadline. As of right now, only four of those candidates have had their petitions deemed sufficient by elections staffers:
- City urban homesteading official Katherine Cornwell
- Denver cop and coffee-shop owner John Haney
- Civil rights attorney Ken Padilla
- Community organizer Susan Shepherd
The candidates whose petitions are pending verification are Larry Ambrose, Samantha Padilla Scheitler and Jeffrey Schitter. (Though Jon Lehmann and Eugene R. Lucero filed their intent to run, they did not turn in petitions in time, according to the city's website.)
Shepard, Padilla, Haney and Ambrose already have a good head-start, since they all made a run at the seat against Sandoval last May, when a special vacancy election was held after former Dist 1 Councilman Rick Garcia left to take a job as regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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In that election, Sandoval earned 22.5 percent of the vote. But the fact that Shepherd came in second with 17 percent makes her the likely front-runner this time around. (Haney earned 12.4 percent, Larry Ambrose 10.1 percent and Padilla 9.9 percent.)
Hope they kept their old yard signs.
More from our Politics archive: "Chris Romer, Doug Linkhart among 7 mayoral hopefuls deemed "sufficient:" How many more?"