Aspen City Council candidate field set at 10 people
Eight candidates for two council seats; Torre to defend mayoral seat against government foe
Eight people are running for two open Aspen City Council seats and two candidates for the mayor’s seat in an election that will be decided on March 2.
Monday was the deadline for candidates to submit nominating petitions, and City Clerk Nicole Henning said she received a total of 10 petitions as of 5 p.m.
She now has to verify that at least 25 signatures supporting the candidates are by individuals who reside in Aspen city limits. The deadline to verify is next week.
Mayor Torre plans to defend his seat, after getting elected to the two-year term in April 2019 in a runoff election against City Councilwoman Ann Mullins.
His only competition for the mayor’s seat is Lee Mulcahy, who has been engaged in legal disputes with local governments, including the city of Aspen, for the past several years.
Earlier this month, a court-appointed receiver closed on the house Mulcahy lives in at Burlingame Ranch and transferred ownership from him to the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority. A judge has previously ruled that Mulcahy violated the housing program’s rules for not working the required 1,500 a year in Pitkin County.
In 2017, Mulcahy unsuccessfully ran for mayor against Steve Skadron, garnering 378 votes to Skadron’s 1,875.
Ward Hauenstein, who was elected to a four-term City Council seat in June of 2017 in a runoff against Torre, is seeking a second term in 2021.
He submitted his nominating petition Monday.
The seat occupied by Mullins also is open after she has served two four-year terms and is term limited from running again.
Others seeking the two open seats are newcomers to Aspen’s political arena.
Kimbo Brown-Schirato, a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, submitted a petition. Also submitting petitions were Aspen native Erin Smiddy; longtime resident John Doyle; local restaurant owner Mark Reece; ski instructor Jim Stockton; Samuel Rose, a COVID-19 contact tracer for Pitkin County; and Casey Endsley, a mechanic.
Whoever takes office when they are sworn in in June will make more than current elected officials as City Council voted earlier this month to give their successors $1,000 a month raises.
Council members make $20,400 annually and the mayor currently makes $27,900, plus benefits.
Early voting begins Feb. 12.
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There’s hardly any place for an average worker bee to get an affordable meal, and that concerns elected officials.