Why math may be Mayor Hancock’s biggest problem as Denver heads to runoff

DENVER --- The May 7 municipal election in Denver did not go according to plan for two-term incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock.

While he knew the math was against him because of the sheer number of candidates, Hancock was still hoping to win the election outright and avoid a runoff.

That was not the case, however, as Hancock received 39 percent of votes. He needed 50 percent of votes plus one to win.

As a result, Hancock will take on political newcomer Jamie Giellis in the June 4 runoff. Giellis received 25 percent of votes on May 7.

Now, Hancock has a new math problem. While he beat Giellis by 24,000 votes, more than 59,000 people voted for someone other than Hancock or Giellis.

Lisa Calderon and Penfield Tate received the majority of that vote and they now play a major role in the runoff elections.

If Calderon and Tate voters go for Giellis, the math says she will beat Hancock.

"Now, it's about building alliances with the other candidates in the race," Giellis said on FOX31 Wednesday morning. "My platform has resonated. It's a people-first campaign -- engaging the community."

Hancock responded by saying he knew a runoff was likely.

"We knew when people signed up to run this time around, five very viable candidates were in the race," Hancock said. "The numbers weren't in our favor for winning this outright."

However, Hancock appears ready for the fight, telling FOX31, "We are ready and prepared for it -- I'm ready to go."

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