Duroux mulls run for Basalt mayor | AspenTimes.com

Duroux mulls run for Basalt mayor

Scott Condon
Aspen Times Staff Writer

One of Basalt’s most popular elected officials said he is considering a bid for mayor in the April election.

Leroy Duroux cannot run for a third four-year term as a councilman because of the town’s term limit rule. But he isn’t precluded from running for mayor.

Duroux said this week that he is contemplating a bid and has been encouraged by some of his friends and acquaintances to run.

“I hate to jump out and say I’m going to run but I think I’m going to have to based on the comments I’ve received,” he said. “I need to talk to a few more people and see if they’re sick of me or want me to continue.”

Duroux has served on the council for 9 1/2 years. He was appointed to fill a vacancy after his neighborhood by the Basalt business center was annexed into the town at the same time as the City Market area.

He was elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2000 by comfortable margins. Duroux grew up in Basalt and has raised his own family in town. He said he would like to stay on the board at a time when it is facing significant turnover.

Mayor Rick Stevens and Councilwoman Jacque Whitsitt will also be forced out of their current positions due to term limits. Councilman Jon Fox-Rubin said he will not seek re-election. He is nearing the end of his first four-year term.

Whitsitt, who is a popular elected official like Duroux and touted by some observers as a potentially strong mayoral candidate, said she is “probably not” going to run. However, she left wiggle room.

“I am not going to commit myself right now,” she said. “It’s like quitting smoking ” something might happen.”

Councilwoman Anne Freedman, who will be in the middle of a term in April, said she would “possibly” contemplate a bid for mayor. However, right now she is focusing on recruiting candidates for the three board positions that will be up for grabs. Freedman said she is looking for candidates who would support the direction the current board has charted.

No potential mayoral candidates from outside the current board have emerged, but there’s still plenty of time. The first day that nomination petitions can be circulated is Tuesday, Feb. 17. They must be submitted to the town clerk on Friday, March 5. The petitions must be signed by 25 eligible voters of Basalt.

The last day for Basalt residents to register to vote is Monday, March 8. The April election will be held at polling places; no ballots will be mailed.

Duroux said his primary motivation for considering a bid for mayor is to stick around town government for completion of several policies and projects the board has started. “I think I can still do some good for the town,” he said.

[Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com]