While it surprises no one that the three incumbents reigned supreme in the Denver City Council elections on Tuesday, a thorough breakdown of the results by the blog Denver Politics dug up a few interesting tidbits to chew on. Namely, that Carol Boigon retained her at-large seat against challenger Carol Campbell by a skimpy 5 percent. This despite the fact that Boigon had raised sixteen times the campaign funds as Campbell, who stumped with a $9,000 war chest. Three of the open City Council districts – District 7, District 3 and District 8 – are set for run-off elections in June.
Also, check out the chart of the moola held by Chris Nevitt and Shelly Watters set to battle for the double-sided District 7, where tony hamlets like Washington Park stare across the Platte at their brown-skinned, working-class neighbors in Ruby Hill and Athmar Park. Wanna bet which side of the river most of those campaign signs will get planted?
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Just don’t ask Paul Lopez who’s set for a run-off in District 3. Exactly one year ago May 1, Lopez, a Latino activist and organizer with the Service Employees International Union, was exhorting protesters to "shut down Denver" during the massive, pro-immigrant rally that seized downtown. A year before that, he was telling Denver Police Commander Gerry Wittman how minorities in poor communities don’t trust cops and how "my family and I have been getting harassed by police officers since I can remember."
How it was that the 28-year-old firebrand managed to earn the endorsement of the conservative editorial board at the Rocky Mountain News is anyone’s guess. A clean-cut website helps. But let’s hope he doesn’t change his tune too much. We’re looking forward to hearing some serious anti-establishment talk from the City Council chamber: Out of seven candidates, Lopez earned 45 percent of the vote and missed avoiding a run-off by just 5 percent. His competitor in the June election, JoAnn Phillips garnered only 15 percent.
– Jared Jacang Maher