Update: After the May 7 election, no candidate in District 5 received more than 50 percent of the vote, and therefore the two top vote-getters, Amanda Sawyer (41 percent) and incumbent Mary Beth Susman (36 percent), are on the June 4 runoff ballot. 

The Neighborhoods in District 5: Much of east Denver bordering Aurora, including Montclair, Hilltop, Washington, Virginia Vale, Hale, Lowry, Windsor, part of East Colfax, Mayfair, and Mayfair Park

Who Lives There: Like District 10 to the west and District 6 to the south, District 5 is affluent (the average individual income is nearly $60,000) and predominantly white (73 percent). Only one in 10 residents is black and just one in six identify as Hispanic.

About the District: With East Colfax defining its northern border, District 5 is dense and home to a myriad of mobility and housing pressures, but also features 22 parks, as well as the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. According to Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman, by far the biggest issue facing her district is traffic, but like other areas of the city, affordable housing is increasingly hard to find and some residents and businesses have been displaced as the surrounding neighborhoods have grown.

You Might Remember When… In January 2019, Susman and District 6 Councilman Paul Kashmann sponsored a bill that established new regulations for electric scooters throughout Denver. One of the key tenets of the law is that scooters are no longer allowed to be operated on city sidewalks, except in very rare circumstances. Repairing sidewalks and creating a more walkable city are among Susman’s top priorities, so establishing new rules for the scooters was seen as progress—part of the reason the bill passed unanimously.

Who’s Running

Mary Beth Susman, the incumbent, has lived in Denver for five decades and served two terms as City Council president. Before running for office, she earned a Ph.D from the University of Denver and worked as a higher education executive.

Michele Fry is a lifelong resident of District 5 with a long career working in both city and state government. Among her many posts, she served as the chief of staff, policy director, and policy analyst for Colorado Representative Jovan Melton.

Stephen Replinan entrepreneur, attorney, and business coach, has lived in Lowry his entire life and is taking a hard line against increasing congestion and unbridled development.

Amanda Sawyer is an attorney who also boasts a long background in marketing, sales, entrepreneurship, and general business strategy. She has lived in and out of Colorado for much of her life—including Hilltop for the past three years—and is making her initial entry into politics with this campaign.

Jay Bouchard
Jay Bouchard
Jay Bouchard is a Denver-based writer and a former editor on 5280's digital team.