Election

Candidates in five Denver City Council districts will face off again in a June 4 runoff election

No candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote in those districts, which means a lot of Denverites need to vote again.

Cheryl Specter drops not one, but three ballots outside of the Denver Elections Division on election day, May 7, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Cheryl Specter drops not one, but three ballots outside of the Denver Elections Division on election day, May 7, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

For five City Council races, Tuesday’s elections were just Round 1.

In districts 1, 3, 5, 9 and 10, no candidate was able to get more than 50 percent of votes. It means the top two finishers are headed to a runoff election on June 4.

Here's the Denver City Council Districts entering runoff races on June 4, 2019.

Here's the Denver City Council Districts entering runoff races on June 4, 2019.

The races for mayor and clerk and recorder are also bound for a runoff.

Since at least 2003, no incumbent has faced a runoff election in Denver. Three incumbent council members are facing a runoff this year.

Runoffs for council races are fairly common. 1999 marked the last time a municipal election in Denver featured a single runoff. But there haven’t been this many council races headed to another election since 2003, when six council races had runoffs. There were four runoff elections for council in 2015.

Here are the districts where residents will get another chance to vote on June 4.

District 1: Mike Somma and Amanda Sandoval

Mike Somma and Amanda Sandoval. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Mike Somma and Amanda Sandoval. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Sandoval received a higher percentage of votes, while Somma was the runner-up. The open seat in northwest Denver had the largest pool of candidates in any council race — seven people stepped up to run. Sandoval and Somma want to replace Councilman Rafael Espinoza, who decided not to run for reelection. Sandoval is the legislative liaison and outreach program coordinator for the Denver Fire Department, where Somma also works as a firefighter.

District 3: Jamie Torres and Veronica Barela

Jamie Torres and  Veronica Barela. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Jamie Torres and Veronica Barela. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Torres received a higher percentage of votes, but it was close. The two are vying for the open seat in Denver’s west side since Councilman Paul López is term-limited (he’s running for clerk and recorder). Barela has run for council before, running for District 9 in 2003 before losing in that year’s runoff elections. Barela is a community organizer with decades of experience in community development. Torres is the chair of the Denver Housing Authority.

District 5: Mary Beth Susman and Amanda Sawyer

Mary Beth Susman and Amanda Sawyer. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Mary Beth Susman and Amanda Sawyer. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Susman is the incumbent. It’s the second time Susman will face a runoff election. She defeated a challenger during her first election in 2011 to represent the east Denver district. Now, she is seeking a third term and is longtime advocate for sustainable transport. Sawyer is the only challenger to get a higher percentage of votes than an incumbent. She is a licensed attorney with experience in marketing and business strategy.

District 9: Albus Brooks and Candi CdeBaca

Albus Brooks and Candi CdeBaca. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Albus Brooks and Candi CdeBaca. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Brooks is the incumbent. It’s the second time Brooks will be in a runoff election, after finding himself there in 2011, the first time he ran for City Council. (He ran to represent District 8 before redistricting.) Brooks received a higher percentage of votes to represent the north-central district, but CdeBaca wasn’t far behind in second. Brooks is seeking a third term in office. CdeBaca is a longtime activist who grew up in Swansea.

District 10: Wayne New and Chris Hinds

Wayne New and Chris Hinds. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Wayne New and Chris Hinds. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

New is the incumbent. It’s the second consecutive municipal election in which New has faced a runoff. He first won the seat in 2015. New is seeking a second term to represent this compact central Denver district. Hinds has experience in software sales and financial planning and is originally from Texas. New carried the higher percentage of voters.

Want some more? Explore other Election stories.

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