Chris Hinds Defeats Shannon Hoffman to Stay on Denver City Council | Westword

Chris Hinds Defeats Shannon Hoffman, Scores Another Term on City Council

The incumbent will keep his District 10 seat after winning by a margin of more than 1,700 votes.
Chris Hinds will continue his role as District 10's Denver City Councilor.
Chris Hinds will continue his role as District 10's Denver City Councilor. Courtesy of Chris Hinds

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Incumbent Chris Hinds will retain his seat on Denver City Council after defeating challenger Shannon Hoffman with more than 55 percent of the vote.

Results released by the Denver Clerk and Recorder at around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, showed a winning margin of 1,770 ballots as Denver's four runoff municipal elections wrapped up less than 24 hours after the polls closed.

The results are not official until June 20. However, multiple candidates have declared victory, including Hinds.

"I'm really excited," he says. "I want to thank the voters of District 10 that you've given me the honor of returning for four more years to be your representative on city council."

Hinds tells Westword that he went into the evening of June 6 with an open mind. "I didn't really have any great expectations," he says. "Based on the sheer number of people that we connected with in District 10, we felt very optimistic that we're going to prevail. Obviously, we ended up doing that."

Hinds calls the district — which includes Capitol Hill, Uptown and parts of downtown Denver — "Denver's Perfect 10," and says he looks forward to tackling the issues residents in the district face.

"It's the best district in the city," Hinds says, "and it is the one with the most opportunities and, frankly, a lot of challenges, too."

In his first term, he co-sponsored a bill that raised Denver's minimum wage; voted yes on policies to encourage more affordable housing; and was part of the group that helped get safe-camping sites open in the city.

"I look forward to working on more progressive policies while working with the people of District 10, the new city council and now mayor-elect Mike Johnston," Hinds says.

But his opponent often criticized Hinds for not being progressive enough, positioning herself as the true progressive option in the race — especially when it comes to issues like housing and homelessness.

Hoffman is a renter and community organizer who promised to push policies like social housing, stop homeless sweeps and invest in transitioning away from fossil fuels. She sent out a statement on Thursday morning, June 8, conceding defeat and thanking her supporters for sticking by her.

“My neighbors and I felt seen by our city government in a way we have not felt before, and once you know and feel that you cannot give it up,” Hoffman wrote on Twitter. “I will be with my neighbors demanding co-governance, working to get social housing in our city, and putting our whole heart out there for love of ourselves and our neighbors.”

Hoffman said she still loves District 10 and is proud that the campaign came so close, while spending less money than Hinds.

Policing and homelessness were big issues in this year's elections. Hinds says his victory shows that people want progressive solutions but aren't ready to take bigger steps like defunding the police.

"The voters of District 10, the voters of Denver, we're at a bit of a crossroads right now on our potential future," he continues. "I think the voters have made it clear that we need a progressive path forward and someone who is in the real world. We want to make sure that our real world is safer and we lead with compassion and we provide alternatives to the police. But at the end of the day, we need our police."

Hinds is looking forward to opportunities to engage businesses downtown and work to bring more people into the city center. He cites the completion of the 16th Street Mall reconstruction as a project he's particularly excited about.

"I was honored to be the proxy representative on the 16th Street Mall for the groundbreaking ceremony, and now I'll have the opportunity to be there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony," he says.

Hinds has long been an advocate for disability rights and accessibility in the city after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a bike crash in 2008 that requires him to use a wheelchair now. That is part of his work on city council, and it was highlighted during the campaign when a debate at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio was inaccessible for his wheelchair.

Hinds plans to continue his work on public safety, housing and transportation.

"We have a lot of opportunity here in the next four years," he concludes.
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