Second-place finisher Omar Montgomery didn't concede the close Aurora mayor's race to the winner, Mike Coffman, on Friday, but the former head of the local NAACP announced plans to "say a few words" and thank supporters next week at his campaign headquarters.
A day after Coffman declared victory Thursday in an election that went down to the wire — Coffman won the five-way race by just 215 votes out of 74,611 cast — Montgomery's only public statement was an invitation to what he called a "community gathering" on Monday afternoon, when he said he would "thank the many amazing people that make up our Aurora team."
Sources close to his campaign said Montgomery plans to concede the race at the event.
Coffman, a former five-term Republican congressman, prevailed by a whisker nine days after the Nov. 5 election, when county clerks finished tabulating ballots.
According to final, unofficial results posted late Thursday, Coffman led with 35.77% to Montgomery's 35.48%.
Ryan Frazier, a former councilman, finished in third place with 16.17%, followed by Councilwoman Marsha Berzins' 10.74% and former Councilwoman Renie Peterson at 1.83%.
The Coffman and Montgomery campaigns and groups supporting them encouraged hundreds of voters to "cure" ballots that had been rejected for signature or other problems before a Wednesday night deadline. In addition, the clerks didn't post final results until they'd received and counted ballots returned by military and overseas voters before the same deadline.
While the margin between Coffman and Montgomery was close, it wasn't close enough to trigger an automatic recount. Under Colorado law, that happens when the difference between the winner and runner-up is one-half of 1% of the leading candidate's vote total — 134 or fewer votes, in this case.
Frazier, who lagged the two leading candidates by a wide margin on election night, congratulated the winners of the municipal election on social media on Nov. 6, the day after the election, when the outcome of the mayoral race was still unknown.
"While Tuesday's vote was not the outcome we had hoped, I feel the city will be in capable hands," Frazier wrote. "I am grateful to everyone who we engaged with during the course of the last 10 months, and I know that I am a better person because of it. I wish all the newly elected officials in our city success, and hope they will work together to make Aurora even more amazing."
A campaign spokesman told Colorado Politics on Friday that Frazier and Coffman exchanged phone messages this week and plan to meet up next week.