Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Sarah Parady elected to City Council at-large, according to latest vote results

It was a tight race without a runoff.
3 min. read
At-large candidates (from left), Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Sarah Parady.

The latest vote results have Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Sarah Parady winning the two open at-large City Council seats.  Gonzales-Gutierrez got 20.57% of the vote, followed by Parady with 16.6%

Penfield Tate came in third with 15.61%, and Travis Leiker came in fourth with 15.11%. Parady trailed both Tate and Leiker after election night, but came from behind as votes continued to be counted.

The latest results are unofficial and the election will not be certified until April 20. There are about 2,400 ballots left to count, according to the Clerk & Recorders office, which would not be enough for third-place candidate Tate to overtake Parady's vote tally.

"I'm proud of our city," Gonzales-Gutierrez 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."

Gonzales-Gutierrez is currently serving her second term in the Colorado State House, where she's worked on state legislation around affordable housing, crime prevention and healthcare. She brings a background as a juvenile caseworker for struggling families, and is the third generation of her family to be involved in political organizing in Denver.

Parady is a labor and civil rights attorney who ran as part of the Democratic Socialists of America slate. She's worked on one of the biggest state disability discrimination cases, plus cases involving police misconduct, transgender rights and wage theft.

"Our city voted its values," Parady wrote on Twitter Thursday. "We voted to invest in each other and to take on the big structural changes that will allow every one of us to live a secure and thriving life in our beautiful city. I am deeply moved to be trusted to help govern Denver, and I will work every single day for our collective wellbeing."

Parady and Gonzales-Gutierrez also beat Tim Hoffman, Marty Zimmerman, Will Chan, Jeff Walker and Dominic Diaz.

It was a crowded, open race, with incumbents Debbie Ortega and Robin Kniech term-limited, and Ortega running for mayor.

Leiker was the top fundraiser in the race, getting more than $734,000, compared to Parady's approximate $468,000 and Gonzales-Gutierrez's approximate $381,000. Tate raised around $179,000, and was heavily involved in opposition to the Park Hill Golf Course development, which lost with around 59% of voters against the proposed development.

Since two candidates get elected to Council seats that serve the entire city, the at-large race does not have the option for a run-off. That means candidates can get elected with less than 50% of the vote. In 2019, Ortega won with around 36% of the vote, and Kniech won with around 27.5% of the vote.

At-large councilmembers are not tied to a specific district, they often focus on issues facing Denver as a whole. Ortega has focused on safety around railroad development-though her legislation on regulating development near railroads has been postponed multiple times, and has not yet faced all of Council. Kniech has led the charge on a range of legislation, including raising Denver's minimum wage and zoning code revisions.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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