Mike Johnston, Kelly Brough lead mayoral race; likely headed for runoff (Local News and Reviews)

DENVER — DENVER (AP) — Initial results show two of the more moderate Denver mayoral candidates in the unusually large and divergent field of 16 contestants have pulled far ahead.

Many votes remain to be counted. However, a mathematical analysis of the votes counted as of late Tuesday and the total number of ballots election officials expect to count indicates that avoiding a runoff would require a tectonic shift in voting trends.

If early results Tuesday night hold, Kelly Brough, the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and Mike Johnston, a former state senator, could be pushed to a runoff election.

Johnston extended his lead Tuesday night with 24.66% of the vote as of 10 p.m. Brough was about 2,300 votes behind, with 22.46% of the vote. Lisa Calderón was in third but trailed by nearly 8,000 votes.

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Johnston and Brough would leave behind the more progressive candidates in a largely left-leaning contestant field.

All are vying for an increasingly powerful position in a city that faces rising crime rate not seen for decades, growing homeless encampments and dizzying housing costs.

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