Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Penfield Tate III held a narrow lead Tuesday night to become the next two at-large members of Denver’s City Council, representing the entire city, early results show.
Gonzales-Gutierrez holds a seat in the Colorado House, to which she was elected in 2019, and Tate is a former state representative and senator, who ran for mayor in 2003 and again in 2019. They hold 17.45% (23,691 votes) and 16.41% (22,288 votes) of the vote, respectively, with 135,798 votes counted out of 524,250 registered voters.
While Denver’s contentious – and crowded – mayoral race will head to a runoff election in June, the at-large election won’t. The top two vote-getters win the open seats whether they enjoy majority support or not. The first batch of results published at 7 p.m. by the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office, are unofficial and will change as more votes are counted.
Whichever two candidates ultimately earn the the most votes will replace term-limited council members Robin Kniech and Debbie Ortega, the latter of which sat among the 16 candidates running in the mayoral race. Kniech did not run for any other office.
The remaining seven candidates are and their percentage of the vote are:
- Travis Leiker: 16.16% (21,948 votes).
- Sarah Parady: 15.77% (21,421 votes).
- Jeff Walker: 4.56% (6,194 votes).
- Marty Zimmerman: 8.43% (11,443 votes).
- Will Chan: 5.7% (7,734 votes).
- Dominic Diaz: 3.44% (4,672 votes).
- Tim Hoffman: 11.95% (16,226 votes).
Aside from the mayoral race, the at-large election had the most candidates. During their campaigns the candidates moved throughout the entire city to meet constituents and ask for their vote.
At-large seats on the council are meant to balance the district representatives, which cover much smaller areas across Denver with specific boundaries. In theory, they’re more free to view the city’s issues through a more holistic and comprehensive lens.
But each at-large council member must still work with the other 12 people on the city’s legislative body to create consensus and set the city’s agenda.
Like many of Denver’s other races, affordable housing, homelessness, public safety and economic development became some of the most prominent issues for at-large candidates.
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