Steve Skadron wins third term as mayor with 83 percent of vote

Final-term goals include expanding downtown’s pedestrian malls

After his time as mayor is up on Monday, Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron will take over the role of Colorado Mountain College vice president and campus dean for Aspen and Carbondale starting Aug. 1.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times |

Mayor results

Steve Skadron 1,875

Lee Mulcahy 378

Source: Aspen City Clerk’s Office (results are unofficial)

Steve Skadron will serve a third and final term as Aspen’s mayor after easily withstanding a challenge from Lee Mulcahy.

Skadron won 1,875 of the votes cast (83 percent) in Tuesday’s election. Mulcahy collected 378, according to unofficial tallies from the City Clerk’s Office.

In the race for the two City Council seats, incumbent Ann Mullins won outright with 1,018 votes, and there will be a runoff June 6 between Ward Hauenstein (894) and Torre (972) for the second open seat.

The victory keeps Skadron on track to advance his goals, which include expanding downtown’s pedestrian malls and enlarging the footprint of civic offices while pushing through an environmental agenda.

Much of Skadron’s campaign centered around defending his record that Mulcahy tried to exploit, without any evidence, as one defined by cronyism and corruption.

While Mulcahy’s allegations went unproven, the campaign forced Skadron to back up a record that didn’t always sit well with voters.

Skadron said he appreciated Mulcahy’s challenge.

“I want to thank Lee for letting me not run uncontested,” he said. “Hours before the deadline (for candidates to submit their paperwork with the city) I was uncontested. Democracy is better served this way.”

Mulcahy, who brought a case of Bud Light to City Council Chambers, where the results were announced by City Clerk Linda Manning before dozens of onlookers and candidates, said this likely would be his last campaign for public office. But he vowed to remain involved in Aspen issues on some level.

“I love and am devoted to this community,” he said.

Skadron — though he was the sole council member who voted against it — led the council that gave variances in June 2015 to developer Mark Hunt’s Base2 Lodge, which provided the catapult for voters to overturn the council’s decision at the polls that November. Voters also expressed their lack of confidence with the council’s decision-making on land-use decisions by passing Referendum 1, which stripped the ability of Aspen’s elected officials to approve projects with variances and other exemptions.

The mayor also has been outspoken, and in favor, of the city’s effort to preserve its water rights on both Castle and Maroon creeks, which sets the stage for damming each of the pristine streams.

As for Mulcahy, he continued his efforts to disrupt the establishment, hours before the votes were counted.

Shortly before noon Tuesday, he emailed Manning to complain that the city’s deputy director of housing also was counting votes in the municipal election. The email said he was concerned about “the optics of voting integrity” because the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority is attempting to evict Mulcahy from his Burlingame Ranch unit, and he alleged that a city housing official was counting votes in the mayoral race.

Manning’s reply noted that no votes were being counted by the person targeted by Mulcahy.

Manning replied by email that “Cindy (Klob, the city’s records manager) has been an election judge for the city for many years. She is working as a registration judge and not counting ballots. I agree with the city attorney that all is legal with our election procedures.”