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Mayoral candidate Mike Johnston claims victory after Kelly Brough concedes

Mike Johnston victory speech
Posted at 10:34 PM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 16:32:29-04

DENVER — Mayoral candidate Mike Johnston claimed victory Tuesday night after Kelly Brough conceded following the 10 p.m. ballot drop.

Johnston will replace Mayor Michael Hancock, who was elected in July 2011. He was the second African American to hold the position.

In a statement, Hancock said he looked forward to a "smooth, collaborative transition."

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Mayor-elect Mike Johnston on his hard-fought victory in becoming the 46th Mayor of Denver. His experiences as a nonprofit community leader, legislator and educator have prepared him to hit the ground running. I’m confident the city will be in good hands and my team stands ready to support the incoming administration," Hancock said. "I look forward to a smooth, collaborative transition over the next few weeks and will do everything possible to ensure Mayor-elect Johnston is ready to get to work on behalf of all the residents of Denver on July 17.”

Mike Johnston claims victory as Denver's 46th mayor: Full speech

Johnston has served as a teacher, principal and state senator. He also served as CEO of Gary Community Ventures, an organization that focuses on improving education and helping families reach financial independence. Johnston holds a handful of degrees, including his master’s and law degree from Yale.

He served in office from 2009 to 2017. Additionally, Johnston was a governor candidate in 2018. He also made a run at U.S. Senate in 2020 but dropped out of the race.

When it comes to housing, Johnston has committed to building 25,000 affordable housing units over the next eight years. Tenants' rent would be no more than 30% of their income, Johnston told Denver7 during a pre-runoff election debate. As mayor, he said he would push for a 90-day permit approval process for the construction of affordable housing.

"I think we want to bring affordable housing to all of the regions of Denver. But we also want to prioritize those places that have the best access to transit, as places where we can build the greatest density. And that's what I would work with neighborhoods to do," he told Denver7.

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When it comes to the city's homelessness crisis, Johnston's campaign plan includes building tiny home communities.

"These tiny homes can be built quickly. We can convert hotels quickly, that allows us to move people to those sites that we know they overwhelmingly want to go. And so for me, that's how we solve it, we can solve it with real speed," he said.

He said he does not believe arresting those who are unhoused is the answer to homelessness.

Johnston's stance on the economy, the city's handling of arriving migrants and more can be found through this link.

Brough, who would have been the first woman to serve as Denver mayor, conceded after the 10 p.m. ballot drop showed she was trailing Johnston by roughly 10,700 votes.

Kelly Brough concedes Denver mayoral race to Mike Johnston

Colorado Governor Jared Polis shared his congratulations to Johnston and his team Tuesday night.

"Congratulations to Mike Johnston, our administration looks forward to partnering with you and your team on bold ways to further grow Colorado’s thriving economy, create more good-paying jobs, save people money, and make Colorado one of the top ten safest states in the country in the years ahead,” said Polis in a statement.

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