DENVER (KDVR) — Voters in Denver have mere hours left to get their ballots in as the city prepares to select a new mayor for the first time in 12 years.

Supporters of the two runoff candidates were doing some last-minute stumping Monday, trying to garner more votes before Tuesday night.

The campaigns for mayoral candidates Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston were out in full force Monday, working to sway last-minute voters to cast those ballots. FOX31 connected with supporters backing each candidate.

Dan Brown, of Denver, said of Brough: “I’ve known Kelly since she started with the city as an intern in personnel ops. As a matter of fact, I hired her. I know her to be truthful, honest, having integrity and will listen.”

Chris Nicholson, of Denver, said of Johnston: “I actually sat down with all of the major competitors for mayor before I made my decision. I went to an event for Mike, I went to an event for Kelly. I had coffee with all of them actually in addition to that and I was just impressed by really two things: Mike’s specificity when it came to the problems that he wanted to solve and how he would go about solving them. Also the progressive and comprehensive nature of those solutions. Mike’s willingness to be bold at a time when boldness is needed. But also to not just make broad promises, to actually have a way to back it up.”


21% turnout so far in Denver runoff election

A significant amount of voters have already made their choice for the runoff.

“We are at a little over 21% right now compared to April,” said Lucille Wenegieme, spokesperson for the Denver Office of the Clerk and Recorder. “We were at about 15% (the day before the general election). So we are definitely trending higher than a couple of months ago, so we will have to see. It could just be that folks have turned in theirs earlier and we might see roughly the same turnout, we might see more turnout, something that might look a little more comparable to the 2019 runoff.”

Almost 166,000 ballots were returned in total for the last mayoral election in 2019. FOX31 asked supporters why last-minute voters should pick their candidates.

Brown again, on Brough: “She’s not supported by outside money and that’s a biggie to me, especially being a longtime Denver resident. I think her stands on some of the issues, although there may be a little difference in some of the debates you’ve heard, that there are big differences when you consider what the long-range future for this city is. And I guess, knowing her for so long, knowing who she is, knowing that we are heading for a mayor with transparency, commitment and integrity, that’s what I want in my city.”

And Nicholson again, on Johnston: “Quite honestly, Kelly was my runner-up. I really liked her on a personal level. I thought she was a genuine, kind person, but she’s too conservative for Denver. Straight up. She opposed paid family leave at the Chamber (of Commerce), she opposed raising the minimum wage and still did as of earlier this year. You know, she is someone who will stand up for the business interests in this city, and we need someone who will stand up for the community in this city.”

Candidates for Denver mayor, Mike Johnston (left) and Kelly Brough (right) at campaign events on election night, April 4, 2023.
Candidates for Denver mayor, Mike Johnston (l) and Kelly Brough (r) at campaign events on election night, April 4, 2023. (Photos: KDVR)

Final thoughts from Brough and Johnston

Both candidates had a final message for last-minute voters:

Brough: “I would say to voters, you know, our city is at a crossroads. We have a chance to change the course we’re on, and I’d invite them to vote for me, and together we will do that work. We’ll make this a city that’s affordable so everybody who works in it can live in it. Where we are safe in our neighborhoods, where our kids get the education they deserve. I know we can do this work together.”

Johnston: “My final message is, you know, if you are a Denver resident right now who is working hard and you’ve got a couple of jobs, you’re trying to take care of kids, there is a lot going on. I know that ballot might not have been the top thing on your priority list, but I know you care deeply about this city, and I know that you want to see it be a place where you feel at home, welcome, and you can take care of all of us and you can house all of us and keep all of us safe. This vote is about that vision for that city, and so we want to make sure your voice gets heard. We want to make sure you are there shoulder to shoulder with us and actually building the city that we all know we can build. So we are going to sprint all the way to the finish and would love to have you there with us when we get there.”

If you still have your ballot, you have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to cast it and make your voice heard.