Four Takeaways From Denver Election
There were few surprises in the Denver off-year election. Possibly the most remarkable thing was that a record of 13 ballot initiatives barely attracted 165,000 voters in a city with 500,000 registered and with nearly 400,000 voters in presidential years.
- The Denver Stock Show development area on Brighton Boulevard has been a major beneficiary of Denver tax generosity. It appears to be at an end. The arena’s price tag was too large for the rest of the package. Voters said enough already.
- The Republican label is a non-starter in Denver. The political establishment – mostly Democratic, but includes Republican business and non-profit interests – went to war over the three initiatives and crushed them by 60 percent or better. Only homelessness, a major aggravation for voters, got slightly closer (only lost by 56%).
- Open space is a first for love for Denver voters. Even projects from credible developers with interested neighborhoods are not able to overcome the preferences. Voters said “yes” to open space (Park Hill golf course) – 63 percent, “no” to development – 63 percent.
- Denver voters still give the city mayor support in its investment plans – $260 million more for infrastructure. It’s considerably more than other Colorado jurisdictions invest and a lot quicker than the U.S. Congress.