Mulcahy concedes mayor’s seat during debate

Incumbent Torre congratulated by challenger

Aspen mayoral candidate Lee Mulcahy, who is in a yearslong legal battle with the city over whether he is eligible to live in a taxpayer-subsidized house the government now owns, conceded the election to incumbent Torre after a 50-minute debate on Thursday.

“Let’s be honest, he’s going to get re-elected and I want to be the first to congratulate him,” Mulcahy said. “But I think we can see a way forward because all we are asking for is peace in this community.”

Torre is seeking a second two-year term to finish the goals he set out to do, before the COVID-19 crisis started nearly a year ago.

“There’s many things that I don’t feel like have gotten as far as I want, like the waste diversion program that we’re trying to get to, some of the changes in our organization that we’re still working on,” Torre said. “Maybe we haven’t tackled transit perhaps as much as I’d like … it’s always a struggle about the pace of government and how we get things done, when we get things done … I want to see us moving forward faster.”

Mulcahy, a registered Republican, did not directly answer questions about his support for Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and her belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory, or her connection to the Proud Boys, a far-right, neo-fascist white male violent political group.

He also did not answer a question about whether he will peacefully leave the home he is occupying in Burlingame Ranch, a city-developed subdivision across from Buttermilk, once his legal options are exhausted.

He has stated at city council meetings in the past that there will be a war and people could die if they are forcibly removed.

Gallery caption: Aspen mayoral candidates for the March 2, 2021, election.

Mulcahy said if he was elected, his two priorities would be to halt executive sessions by the council and find a way to allow a local woman, Sonya Bolerjack, from not being forced by the housing authority to sell her home.

She, along with Mulcahy, have been found guilty by the Pitkin County District Court of not adhering to the work requirement of 1,500 hours a year in Pitkin County.

“What has been done to her by the bureaucrats and the (Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority) is frankly shameful,” Mulcahy said. “We do not want to be that kind of a community. … We are not that kind of community.”

The two mayoral candidates also talked about what types of workforce housing should be prioritized, what measures city government should’ve taken related to the pandemic and their positions on a host of other issues.

The Zoom video can be viewed on The Aspen Times website and Facebook page. The event was hosted by The Aspen Times, Aspen Daily News and GrassRoots TV.