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Candidates go down to wire

ASPEN Aspenites stuck at home this weekend might want to consider turning off the lights and not answering the phone or knocks at the door.With two days left until Election Day, mayoral and City Council candidates have been out in full force in their last-ditch efforts to sway voters. Most candidates and their teams of volunteers are hitting the pavement this weekend, knocking on doors, handing out campaign literature and making phone calls to reach as many voters as possible.Even ordering a Dominos Pizza will throw residents into the election campaigning onslaught. At least one council candidate is attempting to penetrate voters through their stomachs – Andrew Kole has had campaign flyers on all Dominos pizza boxes from Friday through Sunday.”I lucked into bad weather and a lot of good sports,” Kole said regarding his predicted success in hungry voters ordering in this weekend. Kole said Friday his door-to-door campaign depends on the weather, and he will rely mostly on GrassRoots TV re-runs of past City Council debates. “Between all of that they’ll be sick of me by then,” he said. “And I don’t think that that many people haven’t made up their minds.”Another council candidate, Steve Skadron, hopes to win voters over through their tastebuds. He’s been handing out bags of M&Ms that say “Vote for Steve Skadron” and will continue to distribute them throughout the weekend. Along with the sweets, Skadron will distribute hand-outs mainly in his territory – Smuggler, Centennial and Hunter Creek.He acknowledges that certain areas of the city are more inundated than others with material, and he wonders how effective the literature is when voters become overwhelmed with information. His main focus is to get the base of voters to the polls, reminding people that High Mountain Taxi is offering free cab rides to polling places.Michael Wampler, who also is running for City Council, may join forces with Skadron and hit the campaign trail with him in the East End neighborhoods. At a minimum, though, he’ll be knocking on doors like everyone else, except mayoral candidate Tim Semrau.Semrau believes voters have had enough, although he might make some phone calls over the weekend.”I think election fatigue has set in on the town so I am going to tread lightly,” he said. “I’m not blanketing anybody, I’m not bothering anybody.”Some areas of the city have been harder hit than others as far as campaigning goes. Neighborhoods with the most voters, like precinct 3, which consists of Hunter Creek and Centennial, have taken the brunt of campaigning. Doorknobs have been littered with campaign materials and areas like Cemetery Lane are chock full of yard signs.”I kind of feel bad, thinking I wouldn’t appreciate” all the fliers delivered to his door, said council candidate Dwayne Romero on handing out more materials. He plans to spend as much face time as possible with voters by knocking on doors, as well as making phone calls.Mayoral candidate Mick Ireland is “going to do what he always does” by enlisting a posse of volunteers to distribute his latest campaign literature, which will include the endorsements from both newspapers, as well as various columnists. But his emphasis will be meeting with as many voters as possible.”Our main thing is to tell people to vote and hopefully they’ll get it,” he said. Mayoral candidate Torre will have family and friends travel to Aspen from out of town to help in his campaign efforts by walking door to door.”I’ll be talking to people on the streets – having fun on the campaign trail,” he said, adding he’ll be stationed at his usual campaign corner of Main and Mill streets Monday and Tuesday urging people to vote for him.Council candidate Toni Kronberg has blisters on her feet from walking around town the past few days, she said Friday while juggling yard signs and door hangers. She plans to distribute 5,000 door hangers over the weekend, with the help of volunteers.”I like to get out and do it myself, so I can talk to people,” she said.Council candidate LJ Erspamer said he’ll hit between 200 and 300 residences this weekend, although time is tight for him because of his job and family obligations.”I’m not going to campaign on Tuesday … everybody is sick of it,” he said. “It does more harm than good to campaign on Election Day.”There will be no door-to-door campaigning for mayoral candidate Bonnie Behrend. Instead, she is going store to store in the commercial core and plate to plate in local restaurants.”There is not a lot going on and the weather is bad, so I’m trying to get in front as many people as I can,” she said.City Council candidate Michael O’Sullivan, who has kept his campaign fairly low profile, is continuing on that path this weekend by walking door-to-door with his 8-year-old daughter, Claire.Election Day is May 8. There are seven candidates running for two open seats on council and four mayoral candidates. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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