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DENVER-John Hickenlooper, who owns seven restaurants and bars in Denver, and has developed historic warehouses in the LoDo area, has been elected mayor of the city.

Hickenlooper took 65% of the vote in Tuesday’s runoff to trounce City Auditor Don Mares. Mares, a lawyer, has been auditor for the past eight years and a career politician. Hickenlooper won the general election, but not by more than 50%, which is required to avoid a runoff.

This marks Hickenlooper’s first elected office. He is considered very pro-business and received support from business leaders such as Linda Alvarado, who heads one of the largest Hispanic-owned construction firms in the nation and is a co-owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.

Hickenlooper also was supported by the well-known Gart family, which has developed buildings in the LoDo area, as well as owning a large number of specialty sports stores; and Bruce and Seth Berger, who sold the city land for its planned Colorado Convention Center hotel.

Mares was supported by city workers and unions. Hickenlooper is the first person to own a business elected mayor of Denver in 30 years. While the race is non-partisan, both Hickenlooper and Mares are Democrats.

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