DENVER — Voters gave Michael Hancock a third term as mayor of Denver in Tuesday's runoff election, but they didn't give him the same supporting cast on the city council.
Three incumbents were voted out of office this week, and other candidates took over empty seats.
These are the council’s newest members:
Candi CdeBaca, a social worker and activist, has unseated Albus Brooks, who was considered a likely successor to Hancock. She’ll represent Denver’s 9th district in North Denver, covering neighborhoods like LoDo, Globeville, and Five Points. She won over Brooks with 52.44% of the vote.
“We ran a historic race in a historic fashion to become the: FIRST queer Latina councilwoman in Denver, the FIRST representative on council from Swansea, the FIRST Latina to represent the old District 8, and the FIRST Democratic Socialist on Denver City Council,” she wrote on Facebook.
CdeBaca had been a vocal opponent to the I-70 expansion project. As far as the future, her campaign website lists the issues important to her: “responsible growth,” “people-centered transportation,” and “government you can trust.”
Amanda Sawyer defeated two-term councilwoman Mary Beth Susman in the race for District 5, covering Hilltop, Montclair and Lowry.
She had more than 16 percentage points over Susman in Tuesday’s runoff. Notably, Sawyer and Susman were on opposite sides of a condominium proposal project in the Hilltop area earlier this year.
“Tonight, even though we were outspent over 7-1 in the run-off, we proved that the ‘soul’ of our city is not found in the pockets of Big Developers, but in the hard-working people who live here,” Sawyer wrote on Facebook.
Her campaign website says she wants to “protect the character of our neighborhoods.”
Chris Hinds replaces incumbent Wayne New in District 10 – Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek and Congress Park.
On Facebook, he wrote: “As I said before the runoff election, I welcome everyone in District 10 onto #teamChris, even if your choice before June 5th was another candidate. I look forward to getting to know you as a Councilperson as I've gotten to know you as a candidate! (there might be a slight delay as we rest and dig out from the billions of messages!)."
Hinds’ policy platform included working on Denver’s housing crisis, advocating for others with disabilities and making his district feel like a “20 Minute Neighborhood” – the idea of putting everything residents need within a walking distance.
He has a background in software.
Amanda Sandoval ran against another potential newcomer, firefighter Michael Somma, to represent District 1’s neighborhoods like Berkeley and the Highlands.
Sandoval, too, works for the Denver Fire as a legislative liaison.
“I am filled with gratitude and excitement today. Thank you to all of YOU… Supporters! Volunteers! Community and citywide leaders! And District 1 residents and friends!,” she posted to Facebook Wednesday.
Like her fellow councilmembers, Sandoval said she wanted to promote smart development. She also promised to fight for larger budgets for first responders, to address safety concerns at traffic crossings, to protect local parks and to work to establish more neighborhood watch programs.
In District 3, Jamie Torres will represent neighborhoods like Barnum and a piece of West Colfax. She ran against activist Veronica Barela to replace Paul Lopez, who ran for clerk and recorder after reaching his term limits.
She wrote: “I started this campaign on my birthday, May 17, in 2018 compelled by the desire to work with my neighbors throughout the district on some of the most crucial challenges of our history and be a part of celebrating some of our greatest accomplishments. The neighborhoods of District 3 are my home and my heart. I’m truly honored to work with and for all of you.”
Torres is from West Denver, and is not a stranger to city government. She is the deputy director of Denver’s Human Rights & Community Partnerships Agency and director of the Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs.
In her campaign, Torres said she would prioritize tracking bond projects in the district, the needs of immigrant communities, art initiatives, transit and investment in sidewalks.
AND EVERYONE ELSE?
Other incumbents won back their seats in the May election:
Debbie Ortega, councilmember at-large
Robin Kniech, councilmember at-large
Kevin Flynn, District 2 (unopposed)
Kendra Black, District 4
Paul Kashmann, District 6 (unopposed)
Jolon Clark, District 7, (unopposed)
Chris Herndon, District 8
Stacie Gilmore, District 11