Denver Municipal Elections

May 13, 2019

By Matthew Groves, House District 6 Co-chair

I would like to put perspective on last week’s election results. I’m sure you’ve seen them. But, it appears as though every race touching HD-6 will be looking at a run-off.

· Hancock – 38.65%
· Lopez – 36.87%
· Sussman – 35.96%
· New – 39.05%

This is a silver cloud in our otherwise stormy post-2018 sky. 60+% of active voters in Denver have evaluated the political landscape and said, “this is not what I want Denver to look like.” Now, turnout was low – for sure. It will be lower in the run-off. But, this presents a magnificent opportunity.

Looking at Hancock/Lopez/Sussman, the Democratic base is hovering right around 36-37%. That gives us a cushion to pursue the other 63% with an anti-incumbency message. Not personal attacks, but resonance that we cannot sit on our hands in 2020. Will Rogers famously said, “even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Democratic chickens are coming home to roost. Campaign promises are falling flat. But, it will not cost them votes unless we paint an appealing alternative.

With the overreaching legislature as an ally, passing mind-numbingly bad policies, our window to strike has opened.

Since 2014, we have been shaping our ‘third offset strategy.’ This presupposes that if we go to war with China, we cannot match them man for man. We are outnumbered by a factor of at least 3:1 or 4:1. So what can we do, using technology, training, or other asymmetric strategies to counteract a numerical advantage? We face this same issue today looking at voter registrations in Denver. We are 19% in HD-6, as that’s almost as close as it gets in this city. So, how we will sweep victory from under the opponent’s feet?

In Iraq and Syria, we did this through a hearts and minds campaign. Most of ISIS-controlled territory did not actually support the philosophical underpinnings of terrorist regimes. But, when ISIS or Al-Qaeda took over, they provided basic services. They employed young men, they collected garbage, they patrolled and protected local markets and mosques. Since they were able to provide the essential services, the occupied territories simply acquiesced that this was the group in charge now.

Once Alliance information campaigns broadcast and publicized the death and destruction ISIS presented, the Sunni populations stopped acquiescing. They held firm that intra-faith bloodshed was against Islam and quickly pushed the regime out of their strongholds faster than any Army could have. Once pushed out of safe havens and onto the battlefields, they were no match for the Americans.

Today, too, is a time of civil unrest among unaffiliated voters who have acquiesced to Democratic leadership. Voters are aware things are not going well in this city (hello, mushrooms) and they are increasingly dissatisfied with the people who are providing overwatch while these terrible policies take effect on their day-to-day life. The gentle nudge of a positive alternative will help THEM purge the city and state of its leadership. Even if they may not support us on an ordinary day.