Richards says she won’t run | AspenTimes.com

Richards says she won’t run

Janet Urquhart

It’s official: Rachel Richards is not running for mayor.The city councilwoman took the unusual step – even for Aspen politics – of calling a news conference Thursday at City Hall to announce she would not be seeking election to higher office.Richards, who still has two years left in her council term, said she wanted to quell speculation that she would join a mayoral race that already includes incumbent Helen Klanderud and Councilman Torre.The councilwoman said she is asked repeatedly about her intentions and added she’s heard that circulators of various housing-related petitions have suggested Richards’ support for Burlingame Ranch is aimed at building a platform from which to launch a mayoral bid.”I just wanted to take that piece out of the equation – what are my motives in this,” she said.Richards said she was influenced in large part not to run by Klanderud’s commitment to seeing the controversial Burlingame housing built. The mayor has shown her intention “in words and actions” to see the project through, Richards said.Nonetheless, Richards said she will not endorse either Klanderud or Torre in the mayoral race.”I think it’s important for the council to have healthy working relationships when it’s all said and done,” she said.Councilman Terry Paulson, who will be forced off the council by term limits this spring, has indicated he may run for mayor in May. He lost a bid to unseat Klanderud two years ago.Klanderud and Richards have faced off twice before in mayoral elections; each has bested the other once.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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