Aspen mayor: Torre, Ann Mullins will be in April runoff

Ann Mullins, left, and Torre, right, will go head to head in a runoff election April 2 to see who will become Aspen's new mayor.


Torre 1,281 votes
Ann Mullins 940 votes
Adam Frisch 838 votes
Cale Mitchell 83 votes
Note: Since no one received a majority, Torre and Ann Mullins will be in a runoff April 2.

Aspen mayoral candidates Torre and Ann Mullins are going into a runoff election after failing to get a majority vote on Tuesday in the municipal election.

They won out over candidates Adam Frisch and Cale Mitchell by a wide margin.

Torre garnered 1,281 votes and Mullins brought in 940. Frisch came in third with 838 votes and Mitchell had 83.

Per the city’s home rule charter, mayoral candidates must receive 50 percent of the vote, plus one. If not, the top two vote getters are forced into a runoff. In this election, the threshold to win outright was 1,572 votes.

So, Torre and Mullins will face off on April 2.

“It’s going to be a fight,” Mullins said. “The gap is wider than I thought.

“It’s going to be a lot of work.”

Torre, 49, said he was feeling confident going into Tuesday based on polling and word on the street.

“Citizens want a change in City Hall and this shows,” said the former councilman who has run for mayor six times and lost his bid for a council seat in 2017 in a runoff with Ward Hauenstein.

Torre said the biggest challenge for the next month is to get people to the polls. History shows that far fewer Aspenites show up to vote in runoff elections.

“I was up by 83 and I lost by 27 votes,” he said.

Frisch, 51, is a two-term a city councilman who is term limited after serving eight years. He ran for mayor in 2013 but lost to Steve Skadron.

He said he was disappointed at Tuesday’s results but commended his opponents for running good campaigns.

Frisch said late Tuesday night that his support for the city contributing $4.36 million toward the Lift One corridor plan that voters narrowly approved on Tuesday hurt his campaign.

And because of personal reasons, Frisch wasn’t able to run as strong of a campaign as he has in the past. If he had, he said he thinks he could have made up the 100 or so votes that he lost to Mullins.

“We were not able to run the ground game and I think that’s part of it,” he said, adding that he does not plan to run for office again but will participate on a different level. “There’s other ways to serve the community.”

Whoever takes the top political position, it will be a new face in the mayor’s seat. Mayor Skadron is serving his third, two-year term and is term limited.

Mullins, 70, is in the middle of serving her second term as a councilwoman and has two years remaining if she’s not elected as mayor.

If she wins the mayoral seat, council will appoint someone to fill her vacancy.

She said Tuesday night in City Hall after the results came in that her campaign will get more intense and specific on issues that she wants to address as mayor.

“I want to focus on what we plan to do going forward,” she said, adding that transportation solutions, affordable child care, small business support and the environment are top priorities, as is hiring a new city manager.

Torre, who has served two terms as a councilman, said he sees his campaign as more hand-to-hand combat, and pointing out differences between him and Mullins by focusing on vision and voting records.

Torre’s campaign the past month has included the phrases “we can do better” and “no more initiatives to nowhere.”

He was against the Lift One corridor plan and supports a citywide composting program, along with finding solutions to traffic.

As a city councilman, Torre supported building housing at Burlingame, and started the movement to ban plastic bags from being sold at grocery stores in Aspen.

Mullins supported the Lift One plan and the $4.36 million taxpayer contribution and has focused her years on council to preserve historic resources. She also worked to change the legal age to buy cigarettes and put a hefty tax on the sale of them.

She said on Tuesday that while she would’ve liked to win outright, she will work hard to win the mayor’s seat.

“I’m clearly disappointed,” Mullins said. “But that’s OK.

“We can work this out in the next four weeks.”