Johnston vs. Brough or Calderón: Denver election results still coming in. Here’s what we’re watching for today

There were still more than 21,000 votes left to be counted Wednesday night.
3 min. read
Ballots fly through a machine in Denver’s Election Division headquarters on Bannock Street. April 5, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

UPDATE April 6 at 2:50 p.m.: The latest vote results show Mike Johnston and Kelly Brough in the top two spots. Read the latest here.

The results also show Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Sarah Parady winning the top open at-large seats on Denver City Council.

At 2 p.m., the Denver Elections Division is expected to release what could be the final batch of votes cast in this year's municipal election.

Most of these are ballots that were returned near the end of voting on Election Day, according to the Clerk & Recorder's office.

The best way to be notified immediately about any critical updates these votes might bring is to sign up for Denverite's newsletter and alerts:

So, here's what we're watching for:

A potential upset for the second runoff spot in the mayor's race...

The latest unofficial vote results released showed Lisa Calderón closing the gap on second-place Kelly Brough.

Whether the remaining votes will propel Calderón into the second spot is yet to be determined, but if they do, she will upset one of the two most financially backed candidates in the race in Brough.

Former state senator Mike Johnston, the other most well-funded mayoral candidate, remains in first place and looks set to be in the June 6 runoff.

The race for the open at-large City Council seats

State Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez remained in first place with about 20% of the vote and looks likely to stay there. She declared victory in the race Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm proud of our city," she wrote in a statement Wednesday. "I am honored and humbled by the trust that Denver voters have placed in me, and by their shared vision of a Denver where working people can put down generational roots."

But the race for the second seat is tight. Attorney Sarah Parady currently sits in second place after batches of ballots delivered mostly on Election Day were counted. Former state senator Penfield Tate III sits in third place and Travis Leiker sits in fourth. Just over 1% separates the three.

Read more about that race here.

The race for runoff spots in City Council Districts 7 and 10

Candidate Flor Alvidrez looks to be comfortably heading into the runoff in District 7. But the race for will compete with her in that election is tight between second-placed Nick Campion and third-placed Adam Estroff.

Similarly in District 10, incumbent Chris Hinds has about 36% of the vote in that district race, and has a firm grasp on a runoff spot. But whom he will face will likely be determined by today's vote results.

Activist Shannon Hoffman and East High School teacher Noah Kaplan are in tight race for a runoff spot. After Wednesday afternoon's vote results, Hoffman climbed into second place with a little more than 26% of the vote; Kaplan has about 25.5%. Read more about that race here.

Should we be thinking about recounts?

Some of these races are very close. Under Colorado state law, a recount is required if the vote differential is 0.5% or less. Considering the races we're looking at closely with today, recounts might apply to candidates who find themselves in second and third place.

A candidate can request a recount if the vote differential is outside that margin, but they would have to pay for it themselves.

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