Myrin bows out |

Myrin bows out

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Hoping to strengthen the chances of other like-minded candidates, Bert Myrin withdrew from the Aspen City Council race on Friday.

The crowded field of eight challengers and two incumbents running for a pair of council posts threatens to split the vote in too many directions and give incumbents Tony Hershey and Tom McCabe an edge to retain their seats, Myrin reasoned.

“I’m trying to make it more difficult for the incumbents, which has been my goal from day one,” he said. “I have to make our side a little stronger.”

Myrin, 35, was among the first challengers to declare his candidacy back in January. Many followed. Ten council candidates filed nomination petitions; Friday was the deadline to withdraw and Myrin took the opportunity to do so.

If anyone else drops out later, their name will nonetheless appear on the May 6 ballot.

Myrin said at least five other council hopefuls share his views on the issues.

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“Since I announced my candidacy 10 weeks ago, several other outstanding candidates also interested in changing the direction and attitude of our local government have stepped forward,” he said.

Myrin is hoping Aspenites who might have cast a vote for him will now back one of those other candidates, giving one or two of them a better chance of unseating an incumbent.

According to Myrin, candidate Tom Peirce appears to have emerged as a strong contender, but Myrin said he’s willing to support a number of the council challengers.

“I am working for anyone who is not the incumbents, really. My goal is to get them out of office,” he said.

Among council candidates, Myrin has garnered headlines frequently. The West End resident was in the news when the council removed him from the Planning and Zoning Commission and when he sought the reinvestigation of a city staffer who had been previously cleared of an alleged conflict of interest.

More recently, he urged Colorado’s congressional delegation not to support federal funding for an improved valleywide bus system if it meant running buses across open space at the entrance to Aspen.

With Myrin’s withdrawal, the council field includes McCabe, Hershey, Peirce, Torre, Lisa Markalunas, Vitashka Kirshen, Pepper Gomes, Rachel Richards and Cliff Weiss.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Helen Klanderud is facing challenges from Councilman Terry Paulson and Andrew Kole.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is