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Mayoral Madness is Over! (feat. City Cast Denver)

Mayoral Madness is Over! (feat. City Cast Denver)

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As always, you can listen to this episode right here in the stack, or head on over to to listen on your favorite potcast app (we really wish ‘podcatcher,’ um, caught on).

This week on the Get More Smarter Podcast, we are once again graced with the presence of Paul Karolyi and Bree Davies of the amazing CityCast Denver podcast to break down the final results of the Denver mayoral and city council races. If you’re a subscriber to this newsletter and/or a fan of our show, you should absolutely smash the subscribe button on all of their various offerings. You’ll be a better Denver-metro-area-ite for it.

Mike Johnston won the mayor’s race, and it wasn’t particularly close. As Paul and I discussed on the show, we texted about our predictions 30 minutes before polls closed (I’m writing this newsletter from DC so I’m on Eastern Time, I guess Apple timecodes are objective and not zone-specific), and here’s the proof we’re equally clairvoyant:

To be honest, this was my preferred outcome, especially since the general election (what the fuck do we actually call the first phase of the Denver municipal elections?) gave voters Mike Johnston and Kelly Brough as the choices in the runoff. I have nothing personally against Kelly, she seems like a very nice person who has overcome some serious obstacles and is friends with people I admire and respect. I even saw her at a bat-mitzvah for the daughter of a very close friend of ours about a week before the election. However, I have some first hand experience with her in her former role as CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Contrary to some of her statements about increasing the minimum wage, implementing a statewide paid family leave program, strengthening workplace pregnancy protections, and other progressive economic policies, she was not only not supportive of those policies on the state level, she actively worked against them, took oppositional positions on them (as opposed to positions indicating she would try to amend the bills), and notified her members of the ‘victories’ the chamber notched in defeating them (temporarily, all of those policies are now law in Colorado, natch). It was mystifying to me why so many truly progressive Colorado advocates and activists were lining up behind Brough considering her record on these issues was very much out in the open and a widely discussed fact upon her entrance into the race. Regardless, she lost, the race is over, Mike Johnston won, and it wasn’t particularly close.

We also discussed the outcome of the Denver City Council elections that went to a runoff with Paul and Bree, and the short version is that this was perhaps the most “normie” election Denver has had in a while. The pro-business crypto-Republican lost the mayor’s race, and the most progressive city councilmember, firebrand Candi CDeBaca also lost her reelection to Darrell Watson. Other Denver institutions like Robin Kneich, Debbie Ortega, Chris Herndon and Jolon Clark are moving on to other things, and while the new council and mayor-elect agree on issues facing Denver (crime, homelessness, housing, revitalizing downtown, gun safety, apparently) what they’ll do to try and solve those issues, and whether or not they agree on those solutions, remains to be seen.

Mayor-elect Johnston has pledged to end unsanctioned homelessness in his first term. A tall order, especially in a city that infamously had a 10 year plan to end homelessness, that, you know, didn’t. But Johnston is a big ideas guy, and if he fails to live up to this promise, he will most certainly face a challenge in 4 years. Johnston is also a smart and savvy politician, so if he finds a way to succeed, it would be the first and only time any mayor of any city has accomplished this, (at least, not temporarily) as far as we know.

Our 8th favorite Member of Congress from Colorado, Lauren Boebert, broke the first rule of holes by digging and digging and digging on her no-show no-vote no-clue approach to the debt ceiling debate. We’ll turn it over to Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim for the details:


That’s it for this edition of the Get More Smarter Substack Internet Website. Thanks for tuning in, thanks for reading, and most of all, thanks for being you. See you next time.

The Get More Smarter Podcast Substack Email Internet Webpage
The Get More Smarter Podcast
This is the official newsletter for Colorado's FIRST BEST AND ONLY weekly progressive political podcast by Ian Silverii and Jason Bane.