Michael Hancock beat the odds. After a notably nasty campaign against former RiNo Art District president Jamie Giellis, Hancock won a third term as mayor of Denver by an unexpectedly comfortable margin in the June 4 runoff election even as three incumbent members of Denver City Council fell short.
Of the latter defeats, the most seismic involved District 9's Albus Brooks, a power in Denver politics whom many have seen as a likely successor to Hancock.
In the meantime, one race, for Denver Clerk and Recorder, remains so close that it falls on the threshold for a recount.
The most recent vote tally from the Denver Elections Division, time-stamped 1:50 a.m. on June 5, is listed as unofficial, and so the results will remain until certification on June 13. In announcing the count on Twitter, the agency noted that "we have a few additional ballots that will require processing later today as part of the normal post-Election Day administrative process." Included among them are military ballots and those sent in from overseas.
An automatic recount is triggered when the margin between candidates is one-half of 1 percent or less, and that's the case in the contest for clerk and recorder. Paul López, who trailed much of the night, currently leads Peg Perl by 50.09 percent to 49.91 percent, or just 253 votes.
The difference between the vote totals of Hancock and Giellis wasn't nearly as slight: Hancock is currently credited with more than 56 percent of the vote, while Giellis earned a little under 44 percent. The results allowed Hancock to make a victory speech well before the 10 p.m. newscasts, telling an enthusiastic crowd that "by every standard and every measure, Denver is leading — not because we pulled back, but because we moved forward. And tonight the people of Denver said they want four more years of progress. ... We are poised to do something extraordinary here — to take our successes and address the challenges of a thriving city, to take our successes and make sure we are bringing everyone along, to take our successes and keep fighting for those who need a champion in their corner."
Brooks and fellow councilmembers Mary Beth Susman (District 5) and Wayne New (District 10) had fewer reasons for cheer. All three were defeated by their runoff challengers: Candi CdeBaca, Amanda Sawyer and Chris Hinds, respectively. In incumbent-free races, Amanda Sandoval topped Mike Somma in District 1 and Jamie Torres outdistanced Veronica Barela in District 3. And Initiated Ordinance 302, which gives Denver voters a chance to decide whether to subsidize an effort to bring the Olympics to the state, was an overwhelming gold medalist, collecting nearly 80 percent of the vote.
Because of this runoff, plenty will change in Denver — but the person in the city's most significant post will not.
Here's where things stand right now:
Michael B. Hancock: 90,959 votes, for 56.29 percent of the vote
Jamie Giellis: 70,623 votes, 43.71 percent
CLERK AND RECORDER
Paul D. López: 72,013 votes, 50.09 percent
Peg Perl: 71,760 votes, 49.91 percent
Total Votes: 143,773
COUNCILMEMBER DISTRICT 1
Amanda Sandoval: 11,226 votes, 66.6 percent
Mike Somma: 5,629 votes, 33.4 percent
Total Votes — 16,855
COUNCILMEMBER DISTRICT 3
Jamie Torres: 3,743 votes, 57.36 percent
Veronica Barela: 2,782 votes, 42.64 percent
Total Votes: 6,525
COUNCILMEMBER DISTRICT 5
Amanda Sawyer: 9,528 votes, 58.19 percent
Mary Beth Susman: 6,845 votes, 41.81 percent
Total Votes: 16,373
COUNCILMEMBER DISTRICT 9
Candi CdeBaca: 8,310 votes, 52.35 percent
Albus Brooks: 7,563 votes, 47.65 percent
Total Votes — 15,873
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COUNCILMEMBER DISTRICT 10
Chris Hinds: 9,675 votes, 53.4 percent
Wayne New: 8,444 votes, 46.6 percent
Total Votes — 18,119
INITIATED ORDINANCE 302
YES/FOR: 118,075 votes, 79.27 percent
NO/AGAINST: 30,872, 20.73 percent
Total Votes: 148,947