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Michael Hancock speaks outside the Denver City and County Building. Photo by Erin Skarda

Denver Runoff Results: Hancock Hangs On, City Council Shakes It Up

After a long and contentious race, Mayor Michael Hancock defeated challenger Jamie Giellis to win a third term as Denver's mayor on Tuesday night, while a handful of new names were elected to City Council.

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After seven city races were too close to call in last month’s municipal election, candidates went back to the trail and voters went back to their ballots for a runoff on Tuesday. After more than six months of campaigning, debating, tweeting, apologizing, celebrating, and campaigning again, we finally know who will lead Denver for the next four years.

In the most closely watched race, incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock defeated challenger Jamie Giellis by more than a 10-point margin. Perhaps most surprising, though, is the shakeup on City Council, where all three incumbents in runoff races were trailing their opponents as final unofficial results came in early Wednesday morning. As of 1:50 a.m., several races were still too close to call—including County Clerk and Recorder and a few Council districts. Below are the most current results.

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Ballots are still being counted; this story will be updated as results become final. For up-to-date results, visit the Denver Elections Division. Last updated 7 a.m. on June 5. *denotes winner

The Mayor’s Race

The race to elect Denver’s next mayor was contentious from the moment it started, as five vocal challengers made their way onto the ballot and offered various rebukes of the Hancock administration. Jamie Giellis, an urban planning expert funded by big-name developers, emerged as the stiffest opponent—winning more than 25 percent of the vote on May 7. But in Tuesday’s runoff, her momentum wasn’t enough and Hancock declared victory shortly after polls closed. Giellis conceded in a phone call to the mayor shortly after 9 p.m.

*Michael Hancock: 56.29 percent
Jamie Giellis: 43.71 percent

City Council

Denver City Council is about to look a bit different. In District 1, where Rafael Espinoza chose not to run for reelection, Amanda Sandoval cruised to a huge runoff victory Tuesday, and in District 3, where Paul López termed out, Jamie Torres held a double-digit lead over Veronica Barela. In districts with incumbents on the ballot, former Council president Mary Beth Susman (District 5) was handed a definitive loss by Amanda Sawyer, while the contests between incumbent Albus Brooks and Candi CdeBaca in District 9 and incumbent Wayne New and Chris Hinds in District 10 were still too close to call.

District 1

*Amanda Sandoval: 66.6 percent
Mike Somma: 33.4 percent

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District 3

*Jamie Torres: 57.36 percent
Veronica Barela: 42.64 percent

District 5

*Amanda Sawyer: 58.19 percent
Mary Beth Susman (incumbent): 41.81 percent

District 9

*Candi CdeBaca: 52.35 percent
Albus Brooks (incumbent)
: 47.65 percent

District 10

*Chris Hinds: 53.4 percent
Wayne New (incumbent): 46.6 percent

Clerk and Recorder

It’s probably the race people know the least about, but the County Clerk and Recorder is one of Denver’s most important city offices, overseeing elections, marriage licenses, public records, and more. The race for this position has also been tight since it started, and early Wednesday morning it was still too close to call, with outgoing Councilman Paul López leading Peg Perl by fewer than 300 votes. If the contest remains this tight, it will head to a recount.

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Paul López: 50.09 Percent
Peg Perl: 49.91 Percent

Ordinance 302

The only ballot initiative on the runoff ballot, Ordinance 302—which effectively prevents Denver officials from spending taxpayer money in pursuit of future Olympic bids without first gaining approval from voters—passed by a wide margin, with nearly 80 percent of voters approving the measure.

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