Rail critics prevail | AspenTimes.com

Rail critics prevail

Allyn Harvey

Anti-rail activist Tony Hershey and rail skeptic Tom McCabe coasted to easy victories in yesterday’s Aspen City Council race.

McCabe led all candidates in the six-way race, capturing 892 votes or 49 percent of the vote. Hershey took 41 percent by capturing the favor of 751 voters.

“Tom and I both ran as being against the rail and we won,” Hershey said. “I think that it shows people really want change.”

McCabe and Hershey have both said they would like to see the rail issue decided by the voters this fall. But Hershey clearly ran a one-issue campaign, while McCabe ran a broader campaign that called the current council’s decisions and management style into question.

“I was hopeful about the outcome, but I didn’t dream I would be that far out in front,” said McCabe. “When Jeffrey Evans and Rachel Richards endorse you, however, you know you have a strong cross section of people supporting you.”

With two seats up for election on the council, voters were asked to select their two favorite candidates.

The third most popular candidate was developer Tim Semrau, who garnered 673 votes. Semrau centered much of his campaign on the need for more affordable housing in Aspen.

Roger Haneman lost a council bid for the second time in two years. Asked if he felt better about the results this time around – he captured 603 votes – Haneman replied, “What, being in the middle of the pack instead of dead last?”

The other two candidates in the race brought equally diverse views to the election, but neither gained much support

Incumbent Jake Vickery, best known on the council for his desire to redesign Main Street, lost his bid for his first full term with just 12 percent of the vote. Vickery was appointed to the council in 1997; this was his first election.

Bruce Meyer rounded out the field with the support of just seven percent of the electorate – 122 voters. Meyer spent no money on his campaign, relying instead on the media and candidate forums to get his message out.

Hershey and McCabe will be sworn in with mayor-elect Richards at the June 14 council meeting. The second seat up for election was Richards’.

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