08 June 2011

Hancock Elected Mayor, Johnson Elected Clerk & Recorder

As a result of the Denver's municipal runoff election, Denver's new mayor is Michael Hancock, in a landslide, and its new clerk and recorder is Debra Johnson, by a nose. In both races, the winner of the runoff was the second place finisher in the first round.

Hancock brings a neighborhood oriented investment agenda and a commitment to ending abuses by the City's police force that have cost the city millions in settlements. He inherits a tight city budget and decades of wise municipal leadership that left Denver less hard hit in the financial crisis than many of its peers.

His personal biography is one of a man who has risen from humble circumstances as a black man in a poor Denver neighborhood from a family whose other members have not always stuck to the straight and narrow who has risen to lead his city, more or less the opposite of the life story of Chris Romer, his runoff opponent. He is also the second black Mayor of a mostly white and Hispanic city that had a KKK supported Mayor in the 1920s (Mayor Stapleton). Mayor Wellington Webb, Denver's first black Mayor, was a critical advisor in his campaign.

Most recently Hancock has served as the President of Denver's City Council, and endorsement from city council members who withdrew from the race or failed to make it to the second round of the election were key to his runoff round victory.

Voter turnout in the second round was about five thousand more (about 40% of ballots mailed were returned and considered valid) than in the first round, but runoff voters tended to return their ballots sooner than the first round voters who had more decisions to make and more candidates to choose from than in the runoff.

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