No official protests over election, Aspen city clerk says
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – No one called the city’s Election Commission to contest the results in Tuesday’s mayoral race, Aspen City Clerk Kathryn Koch said Wednesday afternoon.
In the election, Mayor Mick Ireland was deemed the outright winner with 892 votes, or 50.7 percent of the 1,761 votes cast in the three-way race. He avoided a runoff by 23 votes, having hit the required percentage of 50 percent plus one vote.
His challengers, Ruth Kruger and Andrew Kole, garnered 40.8 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively. Had Ireland not gotten more than 50 percent, he would have been forced to face the candidate with the second-most votes in a June 7 runoff.
Koch said the election rules don’t allow for ballot recounts unless the vote margin between the top two challengers is extremely slim. Kruger received 719 votes in the race, complete but unofficial results show.
Koch said 15 provisional ballots -filled out by people who didn’t bring proper identification to the polls – and seven absentee ballots have yet to be counted toward the total. Those ballots will be examined and verified Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Sister Cities Room located in the basement of City Hall.
“On Thursday the election results will be semi-final, and by next Tuesday they should be final,” Koch said, explaining that the certification process takes a few days.
Koch said it was extremely doubtful that the provisional and absentee votes to be examined Thursday would affect the outcome of the mayor’s race.
Ireland’s word choices were stronger. “The mathematics are not there to change the outcome of the race,” he said Tuesday night.
Also on Election Day, Councilman Steve Skadron was re-elected, and Adam Frisch was picked by voters to sit in the second council seat that was up for grabs.
Like Ireland, both Skadron and Frisch pulled enough support to avoid a runoff. There were four other candidates in the race for two council seats.
Ireland, Skadron and Frisch will be sworn in on June 13. In the meantime, Kruger, an interim council member, will continue to serve out the term vacated by Dwayne Romero in February.
After the final votes were counted at City Hall on Tuesday night, Ireland and Skadron expressed a desire to move past the election and get on with regular city business.
The City Council and mayor are expected to tackle a host of issues this summer, including proposals for an employee-housing complex at the former Boomerang Lodge site, the 2011 Aspen Area Community Plan, the Lift One Lodge development, a fee on new plastic bags provided to shoppers at local grocery outlets and more.
“I’m ready to get on with it, to continue the work,” Skadron said. “I had never been through the process of running for re-election before.”
Ireland said the outset of his third and final two-year term – he is barred by term limits from running for mayor in 2013 – won’t be business as usual, because the council will have a new member, Frisch, and likely will outline new priorities.
“The first order of business is to get the AACP done, adopted; the second item will be to look at land-use codes and implement some of the suggestions from the AACP; the third thing will be to make sure that we pull off the pro bike race in a fashion that it ensures its returns [on local investment],” the mayor said.
Ireland was referring to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a multi-legged bike race coming through Colorado in late August. He worked to bring the event to Aspen, which will be one of the host cities.
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