Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Four candidates vie for District 7 council seat

The race to replace Kathleen MacKenzie for the District 7 seat on the Denver City Council has emerged as a four-person contest that is likely to heat up considerably before ballots are counted on May 1.

March 7 was the last day for candidates to qualify for the ballot by submitting petitions from at least 100 registered voters. When elections officials have verified the signatures and the order of names on the ballot is determined by lot on March 12, the slate in District 7 will be set.

Most of the University of Denver is in District 7, which is roughly north of Yale Avenue, south of Interstate 25 and west of Downing Street and University Boulevard.

MacKenzie is prevented by term limits from running again for the four-year, $73,512-per-year job, thus guaranteeing a new face representing the district.

Candidates who submitted petitions by the deadline are: Julie Connor, aide to MacKenzie; Chris Nevitt, a labor and political activist; Dennis Smith, a high school teacher; and Shelly Watters, aide to At-Large Councilwoman Carol Boigon.

In District 6, which is east of Downing Street and University Boulevard, incumbent Councilman Charlie Brown is unopposed for his first full term.

Denver’s municipal election is by mail-only and involves all 11 members of the council plus the two at-large seats, the mayor, city auditor, and clerk and recorder — the previously appointed office that voters made an elected position in a special election on Jan. 30.

To win a seat on council, a candidate must garner at least 50 percent of the ballots cast plus one vote. If no one achieves that total, the top two vote getters will square off in a mail-only run-off election on June 5. The winners will take office on July 16.

Registered voters in Denver will begin seeing ballots arrive in the mail after April 9, says Election Commission spokesman Alton Dillard. The ballots must be in the hands of elections officials no later than 7 p.m. on May 1 either by return mail or at designated drop-off locations that will begin accepting ballots on April 23.

The last day to register to vote is April 2.

For further information visit or call 720-913-8683.

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