Denver City Council candidate Nick Campion withdraws from runoff

A Denver City Council candidate’s withdrawal from the District 7 runoff race Monday means the other candidate will win by default — and reduces the number of competitive council runoffs to three.

Nick Campion cited family reasons, including a likely move out of the city, for the unusual move of withdrawing from the June 6 runoff. He had faced Flor Alvidrez for an open seat representing mostly south Denver neighborhoods, from Baker south to Ruby Hill and Rosedale. The Denver Elections Division says the ballot already has been certified, so Campion’s name will still appear but any votes for him won’t be counted.

In a statement, Campion said “unexpected but wonderful news” — that he will become a father — prompted his decision. He wrote that having a child with his partner “would make it difficult for me to devote the necessary time and energy to both the campaign and elected office.”

“That’s my goal — to be an awesome father, be an awesome partner and still make a difference,” he said in a companion video. “But right now, me and my partner feel it’s best to move outside of Denver to raise a child.”

In the April 4 election, Alvidrez won nearly 39% of the vote to Campion’s 19.2% in a five-way race. Campion finished just 107 votes ahead of the third-place finisher, Adam Estroff. Denver election rules don’t allow third-place candidates to advance to the runoff if one of the runoff qualifiers withdraws.

Alvidrez, a real estate agent who helps run her family’s concrete construction company, will succeed Councilman Jolon Clark, who opted not to seek a third term.

Campion said he was confident Alvidrez would be “a powerful advocate for our community’s residents and businesses” on the council.

Lucille Wenegieme, a spokeswoman for Denver Elections, said that since the race is now unopposed, both Campion and Alvidrez will have 60 days to return any unspent Fair Elections Fund matching dollars they’ve received from the city. They recently were awarded nearly $45,000 combined in Fair Elections payments for the runoff.

Runoff elections are also on the ballot in council districts 8, 9 and 10 and in the mayor’s race.

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