Denver City Council District 8 runoff: The candidates and the issues

Candidates Brad Revare and Shontel Lewis will face off for the District 8 seat, which covers northeast Denver, and the top two issues are housing and crime.
8 min. read
Brad Revare (left) and Shontel Lewis.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

"I think either one who wins, we're going to be in good shape."

That's not a sentiment often heard during political races, but at a recent District 8 debate hosted by the Central Park United Neighbors organization, neighborhood resident Henry Rosales said just that.

Candidates Brad Revare and Shontel Lewis agreed with the idea during the amiable discussion, with both candidates saying they would rely on one another for community advisement.

The 15 or so residents at the MCA Cube in Central Park nodded along.

Lewis and Revare will face off for the northeast Denver seat come June 6, and the two have similar goals they hope to accomplish if elected to represent District 8. Some of their methods in reaching these goals are also the same. It's a sign that both candidates are tuned in to what residents are saying they need or want of their next representative.

But there's only one seat for the district and voters will choose their next councilmember in the coming days.

Here's a breakdown of the district and its top issues, along with the (subtle) differences between the candidates.

City Council District 8.
Data Source: Denver Elections Di

What is District 8 geographically?

The area is home to Central Park, East Colfax, a portion of Montbello and all three Park Hills. The district gained all of East Colfax during the redistricting process, a move residents wanted because they felt these neighborhoods had similar concerns. In comparison to their former district neighbors: Hilltop, Lowry and Montclair.

The Montbello area in District 8 sits to the west of Peoria Street, Andrew Drive and Durham Court. The other side is represented by Councilmember Stacie Gilmore.

The candidates, their campaign finances and endorsements:

Brad Revare

Revare is currently a director at Colorado Succeeds, a non-profit coalition of business leaders that advocate for education improvements. He also represents District 8 on the mayor's Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee.

He has previously served on the Central Park United Neighbors Board of Directors and the Impact East Colfax Steering Committee, an advisory committee put together by the Urban Land Conservancy and The Fax Partnership to help guide development and avoid gentrification on Colfax.

Shontel Lewis

Shontel Lewis currently works for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and was previously elected to serve on the Regional Transportation District's Board of Directors from 2019 to 2022. She also worked with Denver Public Schools working with their community engagement team.


Revare has raised the most in the district race. Out of all the city council races, Revare is fourth in funds overall having over $258,252. Lewis sits ninth in funding with $172,481.

Dynamics & Endorsements

In the April election, Lewis lead the race with 35.71%, or 5,083 votes. Revare landed in second with 33.47% of the vote.

Lewis is currently running for council alongside several other progressive candidates endorsed by the Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, including incumbent Candi CdeBaca and District 10 challenger Shannon Hoffman, so their support looks similar. They include newly elected At-Large Councilmember Sarah Parady, Working Families Party, Brother Jeff and Denver Area Labor Federation.

Revare's endorsers are similar to District 9 candidate Darrell Watson. They include current Councilmembers Chris Herndon, Debbie Ortega and Jolon Clark.

Both candidates have similar solutions when it comes to the issues within the district and they both agree that their solutions are community-based. Lewis and Revare have both said if elected, they would create community cabinets that empower residents to speak up on changes they'd like to see.

What are the issues?


Residents throughout the city have said housing is their number one issue and that includes a lack of affordable housing, a lack of housing diversity, a concern of gentrification and displacement and a need for more homeownership.

"I've always loved this neighborhood and I wouldn't have been able to live here had it not been for the affordable housing, so for me, that's the number one issue," said Central Park resident David Kugler. "There's an income-restricted housing complex that opened across the street from where I live and I'm so excited that so many more people will have a place to live and a neighborhood to call their own."

District 8 candidates Brad Revare and Shontel Lewis debate at The Cube in Central Park. May 2, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Lewis and Revare agree that housing is top of mind for all residents in District 8.

Lewis has said some of the ways City Council can address the issues are through the use of accessory dwelling units, acquiring motels to use as temporary housing and mainly the implementation of social housing.

Social housing would require the city to build, own and operate housing. That approach eliminates the profit aspect of development. With the removal of profit-based housing, units would remain affordable. Any profit that occurs would be used to create more housing.

Lewis added that the issue with housing is that the city is focused on sheltering people but not worried about what happens afterward. How do people remain in housing whether they have issues assimilating to housing after being unhoused or whether they have the funding to avoid eviction?

"We need stable housing," Lewis said. "If you get someone housing, but then you don't put in place things that are going to keep them house, like getting them access to a livable wage, getting them access to reliable transportation. You need that wrap around support to have stable housing."

District 8 candidates Brad Revare and Shontel Lewis debate at The Cube in Central Park. May 2, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Revare also supports ADUs and especially motel acquisition. He pointed to The Fax Partnership, which recently bought two motels that will be used for temporary housing and will eventually be redeveloped for more permanent housing.

Revare is also interested in the creation and funding of more community land trusts throughout the city. Community land trusts are similar to social housing in that resident-run entities purchase land, build housing and through deed covenants keep the housing affordable.

Revare said organizations such as Tierra Colectiva in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea area and the Elevation Community Land Trust are providing the affordable homeownership options the district needs.

"We have a few examples of different kinds of land trusts...and one of the roles that City Council can play is how can we find funds in the budget and also help bring other partners to the table to turn that into a reality," Revare said. "One of the best parts is that under this model of having community-lead, [they choose] the amenities and what they want to see in it, which is a really good practice going forward."


"Petty crime has gone up," Rosales said. "Stealing cars. Stealing stuff off porches..."

Since 2021, property crime such as catalytic converter or bike thefts have increased immensely and many of those thefts have occurred in Central Park and Northeast Park Hill. Car break-ins at the Central Park RTD station have also increased.

Besides petty and property crime, the district has historically dealt with issues on violent crime. Data maintained by the Denver Police Department indicated that violent crime had gone up between 2021 and 2022 in neighborhoods such as Northeast Park Hill, Central Park, and Montbello. Crime remained steady in East Colfax and decreased in North and South Park Hill during the same time period.

District 8 candidate Brad Revare debates Shontel Lewis at The Cube in Central Park. May 2, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Revare said his plan for addressing crime includes investing in more youth programs such as youth violence protection programs and working programs, expanding the STAR (Support Team Assisted Response) program and building a better relationship with the Denver Police Department.

Revare added that having a strong relationship with DPD would allow City Council to better assist them with their needs. He said recently DPD has reinstated their auto theft program, which is a direct response to a growing need.

"What we hope for in terms of the police being able to focus on crimes like that and having the resources to do that is very important," Revare said.

Again, Lewis' plans are slightly similar. Lewis would also like to see more robust funding in youth programs and would like to expand STAR. Lewis said expanding the program would alleviate pressures on DPD. Instead of requiring police to be mental health workers or counselors, separate entities like STAR could provide the services that are needed.

District 8 candidate Shontel Lewis debates Brad Revare at The Cube in Central Park. May 2, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Lewis added that addressing crime issues requires the city to find out what are the causes behind crime.

"When I think about theft...crime I think about where we might be falling short in terms of opportunity and investing in our greatest asset, which is our people," Lewis said.

Park Hill Golf Course

Referred Question 2O asked voters whether they would want a conservation easement lifted on the Park Hill Golf Course in order to build a massive development. Voters said no.

Now City Council will decide whether to rezone the 155-acre former park to make way for the return of golf.

Revare and Lewis said whatever voters are interested in seeing with the site, that's what they will work to achieve.

Need more help voting? Click here to read the rest of our voter guide.

Recent Stories