Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Denver Council Incumbents Dealing With Growth in Runoff

The embattled incumbents in three Denver City Council races are mostly facing attacks related to growth, with arguments over which candidate will best represent the neighbors vs. developers and City Hall.

Mary Beth Susman may be the most endangered. She came in 5 points behind her opponent, Amanda Sawyer, who argues the central-eastside 6th Avenue, Hilltop and Crestmoor area is full and doesn’t need any more development. Susman argues a more nuanced development strategy, which may not appeal to the “change City Hall” voter, but she is hoping for more voters to turn out that like her record of service.

Albus Brooks is in a culture war with one of the most liberal activists in the city – Candi CdeBaca, who he only bested by 2 points on May 7. Brooks has a diverse neighborhood that has seen a lot of development and gentrification. It also has the I-70 freeway improvements, which are very controversial (CdeBaca opposed).

Wayne New represents what many people believe is ground zero in overdevelopment; i.e., Cherry Creek. In his first election, New was the slow growth candidate, but is now playing defense with a Capitol Hill activist who claims New is too conservative to represent the district on a host of issues, including development. New may be the strongest candidate for re-election, but all three races see the split between City Hall – the status quo, and new forces, generally more liberal and less growth-oriented.

Regardless of the result in the mayor’s race, expect a more visible and active Denver City Council.

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