Denver Election Results: DIA Deal, College Tax Fail, Happy Haynes's 811 Vote Margin

The Denver election results are in, and while they'll remain unofficial under the vote is certified on November 17, we've got a clear idea about the winners and losers in every race, with one possible exception.

Three out of four ballot questions passed, with a new college tax proposal being the only one to fail.

In the meantime, Lisa Flores and Anne Rowe, Denver School Board candidates who back Superintendent Tom Boasberg's reform agenda, won by healthy margins over Boasberg critics.

Happy Haynes, an incumbent who's also been a Boasberg supporter, also collected the most votes in her race against Robert Speth. But her margin of victory was razor-thin, as seen in this Denver elections graphic.

The difference between Haynes's total and Speth's is just 811 votes out of more than 106,000 cast — a difference that's all but certain to trigger a recount.

There's considerably less suspense about Question 1A, which pertains to a development plan for a 1,500-acre slab of land near DIA that Denver wants to develop; the agreement calls for the city to pay stakeholders such as Aurora $10 million for the plot and then share tax revenues generated on it.

Here's the graphic showing 1A's easy win.

Question 2A had a harder time, presumably because it would have created a new sales tax to raise more than $10 million per annum for college scholarships, loan-repayment grants and the like.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg boosted 2A's cause with a $150,000 donation that helped fund a slew of TV commercials. But the measure still fell about 3 percent short, as seen in the following graphic.

Question 2B shared ground with Proposition BB, which was touted as allowing the state to spend excess tax money generated by marijuana sales beyond state estimates — a requirement of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, shorthanded as TABOR. The Denver item asked voters to let the city keep just over $5 million in recreational pot revenues rather than offering a refund — and they were overwhelmingly okay with that.

Here's a graphic showing that total.

Finally, Question 2C wanted approval to move forward with a major upgrade to the National Western Center — and while taxes were involved, they would be largely paid for by tourists, which presumably softened the blow considerably.

This graphic shows what we mean.

The big winner? Arguably Denver mayor Michael Hancock. He supported the quartet of questions, and as anyone in politics knows, three out of four ain't bad.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts