DENVER — Denver's mayoral candidates will meet for a debate live on 9NEWS before the runoff election.
Mike Johnston took 24.5% of the vote in the original election last month, followed by Kelly Brough with 20%. Because no one candidate on the 16-person ballot secured 50% of the vote, the race went to a runoff.
9NEWS' Kyle Clark, Marshall Zelinger and Anusha Roy will moderate the debate happening Tuesday. It begins at 7 p.m. and will air on KTVD, on 9NEWS.com and 9NEWS+.
Johnston is a former state senator who previously tried running for governor of Colorado and the U.S. Senate. Brough is a former president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Both want to hire more police officers and also expand the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) co-responder program. Both oppose the idea of rent control. Both had supported ballot issue 2O, which would have allowed for Park Hill Golf Course to be developed.
While each candidate wants to enforce the city’s camping ban, Brough said she would forcibly arrest people in violation of the camping ban as a “last resort” if they do not accept the help being provided.
While they were two of the comparatively moderate candidates in Denver's nonpartisan mayoral race, the debate will allow voters to assess where Johnston and Brough differ ahead of the runoff, scheduled for June 6.
About 175,00 people in Denver voted in the April 4 election, representing 39% of active voters. Most of the votes came from people who are 55 and older.
This is the first time Denver has elected a new mayor in more than a decade. Mayor Michael Hancock's tenure is ending after three terms in office. Whoever wins the 2023 race will become the sixth mayor elected since 1968.
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