A view of the Denver City and County Building on June 6, 2023. (Quentin Young/Colorado Newsline)
Two of three progressive Denver City Council candidates trailed by significant margins in their runoff elections on Tuesday night, while a third race could come down to razor-thin margins, unofficial results showed.
Incumbent City Council member Candi CdeBaca, a democratic socialist who defeated Council president Albus Brooks in an upset win in District 9 four years ago, appeared headed for defeat against challenger Darrell Watson.
Watson led with 63.2% of the vote to CdeBaca’s 36.8% as of 10 p.m., according to results posted by the Denver Elections Division.
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Watson declared victory Tuesday night.
“Together, we will shape a district that is inclusive, that is compassionate (and) prosperous for all,” he told a crowd of supporters. “I can’t wait to get started.”
In District 10, community organizer Shannon Hoffman trailed incumbent Council member Chris Hinds by 15 percentage points. Hinds was first elected in 2019.
Nonprofit leader Brad Revare and Shontel Lewis, a former member of the Regional Transportation District’s board of directors, were locked in a tight race in District 8. Revare led Lewis by just 76 votes out of more than 11,000 ballots counted as of 10 p.m.
CdeBaca, Hoffman and Lewis were part of a slate of candidates backed by progressive and left-wing groups, including the Democratic Socialists of America and the Colorado Working Families Party.
But the trio of candidates drew opposition from deep-pocketed business groups, as well as some public employees’ unions and “dark money” nonprofits, which are not required to disclose their donors. Independent expenditure reports showed that each contested City Council runoff attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside spending on behalf of the less progressive candidates.
Meanwhile, in District 7, Flor Alvidrez’s election was confirmed on Tuesday night after her runoff opponent, Nick Campion, withdrew from the race due to personal reasons in April.
New City Council members will be sworn in alongside Denver’s new mayor in July.
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