Thursday, December 11, 2014

Denver Holds Election and No One Shows Up

In May 2015, Denver will hold its quadrennial city elections. It will be a very different affair than the battle just culminated on November 4 for governor and senator. Denver could be holding an election and nobody shows up. The 2015 Denver City election does not appear to have a major personality or issue that has captured the Denver public or attention.

Barely a third of Denver’s potential voters participated in the May 2011 elections in a year when there was a serious contest for mayor. This year, with a no contest for mayor as yet, expect a record low turnout. All thirteen Denver City Council positions are up for election or re-election, plus the mayor, auditor and clerk. The following are open due to term limits:
Auditor Dennis Gallagher
  • Auditor Dennis Gallagher – retires
  • District 2 City Councilperson Jeanne Faatz – far Southwest (only Republican and fiscal watchdog)
  • District 4 City Councilperson Peggy Lehmann – far Southeast
  • District 6 City Councilperson Charlie Brown – Southeast
  • District 7 City Councilperson Christ Nevitt – South-Central (not term-limited, but running for auditor)
  • District 9 City Councilperson Judy Montero – Downtown, Northwest
  • District 10 City Councilperson Jeanne Robb – Capitol Hill, Central 
Dennis Gallagher, who is about to retire, was the top vote getter in 2011 when voter participation was 38 percent (113,367). Gallagher is the oldest elected person in Denver City government and the person most likely to take on the city’s power structure.

Mayor Michael Hancock
Denver remains a one-party town. Governor Hickenlooper received 74 percent of the vote and Mark Udall 71 percent while they barely winning or losing statewide (Hickenlooper 49%, Udall 46%). The only two non-Democrats on City Council are term-limited: Jeanne Faatz (Republican) and Charlie Brown (unaffiliated).

Mayor Michael Hancock is unopposed as of today. It is not uncommon to have unopposed candidates. In 2011, five candidates were unopposed: Charlie Brown, Peggy Lehman, Paul Lopez, Chris Nevitt and Jeanne Robb (there were a few write-in voters in several races).

City Council jobs pay more than $80,000 plus 30 percent in benefits. Elections often begin 12 years of office holding or more than a million dollars in salary and benefits. Denver elections are a serious jobs program.

1 comment:

Dave Barnes said...

"Denver elections are a serious jobs program. "
Do I detect editorial comment from Floyd?