Mike Johnston, a former state senator, is facing off against Kelly Brough, a former president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Mike Johnston took 24.5% of the vote in the original election last month, followed by Kelly Brough with 20%. Because no one candidate on the 16-person ballot secured 50% of the vote, the race went to a runoff.
Johnston is a former state senator who previously tried running for governor of Colorado and the U.S. Senate. Brough is a former president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
While they were two of the comparatively moderate candidates in Denver’s nonpartisan mayoral race, the debate will allow voters to assess where Johnston and Brough differ ahead of the runoff, scheduled for June 6.
About 175,00 people in Denver voted in in the April 4 election, totaling about representing 39% of active voters. Most of the votes came from people who are 55 and older.
This is the first time Denver has elected a new mayor in more than a decade. Mayor Michael Hancock’s tenure is ending after three terms in office. Whoever wins the 2023 race will become the sixth mayor elected since 1968.
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