Aspen mayoral candidates talk about what they can do for you

One challenger to incumbent Aspen Mayor Torre

Staff reports

Editor’s note: Today is the first question in a series of five posed to the two Aspen mayoral candidates. Their answers (200-word limit) will be published each day through Friday. For more information on the 2021 Aspen municipal election, go to

What can you do as the Aspen mayor to improve the average citizen’s quality of life?


Age: 51

Short bio: I have lived from Basalt to Aspen and everywhere in between. I have worked on the mountain, in lodges, bars and restaurants, events and concerts, teaching tennis and have worked for the city in many roles.

I have a broad experience and wide ranging perspective for the many different lives our residents live. I ask for your vote to keep working for you and the best Aspen to come.

Years lived in Aspen: 27

Reason that you decided to run: I am running for reelection as your mayor to continue the work we started for a healthy and sustainable Aspen, improved government processes, affordable housing long-range planning, and locally owned and serving business opportunities.

What can you do as the Aspen mayor to improve the average citizen’s quality of life?

That is the job. As mayor, I seek to improve the quality of life for every resident. The decisions we make at the council table affect every aspect of quality of life. The basic needs of safety, food, shelter and a sense of community are of fundamental importance.

Environmental stewardship and climate actions are also important to quality of life. Every person has a different life and different needs to improve their quality of life.

I want to continue working on transit options for the community that can alleviate the stress, cost and environmental impacts of commuting.

I seek to create and support business opportunity for locals. We must retain and increase the amount of affordable business space and opportunity.

I also aspire to create a more connected community, one that supports one another and the community programs that provide access to recreational and cultural amenities.

Lee Mulcahy

Age: 56

Short bio: Bachelors at Baylor; Masters at SMU; PhD at UTA; Sorbonne; Universidad de Salamanca. Teacher for 17 years. Artist, exhibited in Berlin’s KW Institute of Contemporary Art and Beijing’s 798.

Served on Aspen Historical Museum’s Board of Trustees and Snowmass Village Arts Advisory Board. Banned from the Aspen Art Museum for a painting. Expelled from the Aspen Institute for predicting revolution.

Years lived in Aspen: 26

Reason that you decided to run: I love and am devoted to this community. The system is rigged. Government cannot seem to live within the confines of the Constitution. Free speech, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, transparency and privacy have become casualties of the government’s war on little people and liberty.

Aspen has become a corporate feudal state. Sheriff Bob Braudis points out that our current oligarchy is in actuality a police state. Without Aspen closing all the restaurants, capitalism here is fundamentally broken. We’ve perverted the ability of a few with capital to completely bastardize the system and destroy the social fabric of what made this country great. It would be very Hunter S. Thompson to have an Aspen mayor that was banned from the art museum and riding ski lifts.

You can learn a lot about someone from their family. I was mentored in public service by my best friend and the most honorable man I’ve ever known, my late father. He came from a farm in south Texas without running water, but my mom’s (a teacher) educational roots go back to her great grandfather’s founding of Baylor University in 1845 under the Republic of Texas.

I am grateful for many things but especially for growing up under these two inspirational people who devoted their lives to helping those less fortunate.

What can you do as the Aspen mayor to improve the average citizen’s quality of life?

Be gentle and humble. Listen.

There are two types of people: Those that want to be left alone (libertarians) and those that want to control (authoritarians).

Citizens, unlike our local politicians, my guiding philosophy is libertarian: limited government and freedom.

We need to remember that at the end of the day, every government measure can be compelled by force with the point of a gun.

The community should realize that I love Torre, and we’ve been friends for over a quarter of a century; however, I will bring a peaceful but conservative voice to Aspen in these challenging times.

Reform APCHA. It’s the biggest bully on the block. If you give people (the APCHA board chaired by Skippy Mesirow) unlimited power, they’ll use it. That’s human nature.

Halt Aspen secret “executive” sessions. Government behind closed doors is damaging to democracy.

Bridle the City Attorney’s excessive control on City Hall by being a watchdog instead of a lapdog.

It appears my fellow Irish Catholic, President Joe Biden, is raising the minimum wage. If the president fails, Aspen should pass a raise in the minimum wage affecting corporations employing more than 100 people — thereby, leaving small business alone.

Jesus taught love. We’re stronger together.