Mullins re-elected to Aspen City Council, Torre and Hauenstein in runoff | AspenTimes.com

Mullins re-elected to Aspen City Council, Torre and Hauenstein in runoff

Runoff for second seat set for June 6

Rick Carroll | The Aspen Times

Aspen voters re-elected Ann Mullins on Tuesday to another term on City Council, while the stage was set for a runoff pitting former Councilman Torre against political newcomer Ward Hauenstein.

Unofficial tallies from the City Clerk's Office showed Mullins garnering 1,018 votes, which was enough to eclipse the 987 votes needed to avoid a runoff. Mullins' incumbent counterpart, Art Daily, finished fifth in the six-person field with 635 votes.

Torre fell 13 votes shy of the winning threshold with 972 votes; Hauenstein reeled in 894 votes. The runoff is June 6.

The youngest contestant in the field, 30-year-old Skippy Mesirow, who ran arguably the most visible campaign, picked up 792 votes. Sue Tatem finished with 71 votes.

"I'm thrilled. I worked really, really hard," Mullins said. "It was a sometimes contentious election with people strongly disagreeing with me."

Mullins made her comments at the City Council Chambers in City Hall, where candidates trickled in and out and hobnobbed with voters and observers before and after City Clerk Linda Manning announced the unofficial results.

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Opponents of Mullins and Daily argued they have been out of touch with the community as elected officials, often casting their council votes that went against the wishes of residents. Also hurting Daily was the revelation that he had not been checking his official City Council emails since he has been in office for four years.

Not much separated Torre and Hauenstein politically during their campaigns. Both have been adamantly against the City Council's effort to extend its water rights on Castle and Maroon creeks, which is being challenged in Water Court and could lead to the damming of those waters. They were forceful in their criticism of City Hall and the council, and they also were endorsed by Councilman Bert Myrin, who campaigned against Daily and Mullins.

This will mark the third runoff for Torre, who has run for either City Council or mayor eight times.

"It helps me immensely," he said of the experience.

He wasn't ready to start campaigning against Hauenstein, at least not Tuesday.

"That will be defined over the next 34 days," he said.

Hauenstein said he hopes to benefit from the runoff campaign because it will allow the candidates to get into the nitty-gritty details of Aspen politics.

"New issues will arise," he said, joking that he plans to have "sore knuckles" from knocking on voters' doors over the next month.

Before Mesirow left City Hall for Justice Snow's to thank his faithful, he said he did all he could to win.

"We left everything on the table," he said. "No one worked harder than we did."

Mesirow said he's not done with Aspen politics.

"A lot of people felt left out," he said.

Tatem said she felt "relieved" that the election was over.

She and Lee Mulcahy, who lost the mayor's race to incumbent Steve Skadron, had fun with the campaign, Mulcahy bringing a case of Bud Light to City Hall for the election results and Tatem whipping up a batch of cookies for all to enjoy.

The two artists said they would donate the leftovers to the Red Brick Center for the Arts.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

CITY COUNCIL RESULTS

Ann Mullins 1,018*

Torre 972**

Ward Hauenstein 894**

Skippy Mesirow 792

Art Daily 635

Sue Tatem 71

* Wins seat uncontested

** Will face off in June 6 runoff

Source: Aspen City Clerk’s Office (results are unofficial)

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