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SHOESTRING CAMPAIGN PAYS OFF AS DENVER ELECTS A NEW MAYOR

City Auditor Wellington Webb has been elected Denver's first black mayor after a shoestring - and shoe-leather - campaign.

Webb, who walked Denver's neighborhoods and stayed at supporters' homes along the way to counter District Attorney Norm Early's big-money media campaign, got 66,511 votes, or 58 percent, to Early's 48,702 votes, or 42 percent.Webb likened himself to Rocky Balboa when he launched his walking campaign in May as a nearly broke underdog. On Tuesday night, he raised his arms Rockylike as supporters cheered. The "Rocky" theme blared over the packed street.

"We together did the impossible. This is a victory of people over money," Webb said.

"The most important item in this election is taking the influence of big money out of politics," Webb said. "We all have one vote and if we exercise that vote and if we participate we have the capacity to bring about change."

Both men are liberal Democrats and there was little disagreement on issues. Race was not a campaign issue because Early is also black. Denver, with a population of about 500,000, is 12 percent black and 20 percent Hispanic.