Apr 5, 2023 - Politics

Progressive candidates struggle in Denver on election night

Denver's progressive slate of candidates including Tiffany Caudill (center) during a watch party. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

Progressive political leaders weren't quite ready to concede defeat in Denver, despite lagging in preliminary results.

Driving the news: Six of the candidates — all backed by organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America's Denver chapter and the Working Families Party — were behind, according to unofficial results Tuesday night.

  • Mayoral candidate Lisa Calderón was in third place as of 10pm, with 14.88% of votes.
  • Denver City Council candidates Shontel M. Lewis, Sarah Parady, Tony Pigford and Shannon Hoffman were all trailing.
  • Tiffany Caudill told supporters it was unlikely she would defeat incumbent Kevin Flynn.

Why it matters: The slate made a pitch to focus on working-class residents in Denver, but it seemed it may have fallen short for voters.

The intrigue: Councilmember Candi CdeBaca — the only incumbent candidate in the group — appeared to be headed to a runoff with Darrell Watson.

  • If the results hold, it means leftist Democrats would lose their only voice on the council when it comes to creating and enacting city policies.
  • CdeBaca faced a challenge from well-financed candidates.

Zoom in: Calderón and CdeBaca were the marquee candidates in the party's slate at Town Hall Collaborative.

What they're saying: "We're willing to set ourselves on fire to make sure we warm up the world," Lewis told supporters Tuesday night.

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