Incumbent Michael Hancock and former River North Art District President Jamie Giellis advanced to a June 4 runoff for mayor of Denver. Hancock led with 39.1% of the vote to Giellis’ 25.7%. The third-place candidate, criminal justice professor Lisa Calderón, had 17.4%. A candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote in order to avoid a runoff between the top two finishers.
The central issue in the election was Denver’s approach to housing and development following a decade of rapid population growth. Hancock argued that he had expanded the city’s economy since taking office in 2011 and said his plan for his third term included creating a municipal department of transportation and approving a 20-year development master plan. Giellis, a former urban management consultant and president of Denver’s River North Art District, said that she would expand the role that local residents play in approving development plans and would spend $1 billion to expand access to housing in the city.
Although the election is officially nonpartisan, Hancock and Giellis are both members of the Democratic Party.