Aspen mayor, council candidates face forums this week |

Aspen mayor, council candidates face forums this week

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado
Aspen mayoral contenders, from left, Andrew Kole, Ruth Kruger and Mick Ireland will participate in three candidate forums this week. So will their counterparts in the City Council race.

ASPEN – Still not sure which candidates for Aspen mayor and City Council deserve your vote on May 3? There are three opportunities this week to glean more information about the three mayoral and six council hopefuls.

First, on Wednesday starting at 4 p.m., the Aspen Chamber Resort Association presents a candidate forum in the Monarch Meeting Room of the Limelight Lodge, 355 S. Monarch St. All of the candidates for mayor and council are expected to participate. Carolyn Heldman, program director for Aspen Public Radio, will moderate.

The ACRA forum will be divided into two sessions, with council candidates first and mayoral candidates last. The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to run about 2 1/2 hours.

Second, on Thursday evening, The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News will host Squirm Night, a traditional election offering. Editors from each newspaper will pose questions to the candidates, with a small portion of the evening reserved for audience questions. Details on the format are still being ironed out.

Squirm Night is expected to run from 6-8 p.m. at the council chambers in City Hall. The event, also free and open to the public, will be televised live on Community Grassroots TV.

Lastly, at Friday’s noontime Aspen Business Luncheon at the Hotel Jerome, a forum will be co-sponsored by the Democratic and Republican parties of Pitkin County. Steve Wickes will serve as moderator. Cost is $26, which covers the price of a buffet lunch. To reserve a table seat, send an e-mail to

Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland, who is seeking a third two-year term, faces challengers Ruth Kruger and Andrew Kole. Kruger is an interim member of the Aspen City Council. Kole is formerly a local TV and radio talk show host.

Meanwhile, six candidates are vying for two open seats on the City Council. They are (in alphabetical order): LJ Erspamer, Adam Frisch, Marcia Goshorn, Steve Skadron, Cliff Weiss and Scott Writer. Detailed information about each candidate, along with responses to various questions, can be found in this week’s Aspen Times Weekly, or on the website

Aspen voters have repealed the instant runoff system that was a source of controversy in the 2009 city elections. A traditional runoff, if necessary, will be held June 7.

In the mayor’s race, if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will meet in a runoff.

In the council race, a candidate that gets more than 45 percent of the vote can avoid a runoff. If no candidate is able to garner enough support to win outright, the top four vote-getters go to a runoff. There, the two candidates with the most votes will be elected.

The absentee-voting period starts this week and runs through April 29. For more information about how to participate as an absentee voter, call 920-5060.

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