Torre’s supporters up for grabs
ASPEN Mayoral candidates Mick Ireland and Tim Semrau have come out of the starting gate for the June 5 runoff election with the same apparent strategies they displayed before.Ireland says he will be conducting his traditional door-to-door blitz, using shoe leather and pedal power, while Semrau seems determined to maintain his dominance in the high-tech arena, sending e-mails to registered voters and distributing a professionally produced video.After a relatively quiet week of after the May 8 election, Semrau issued a blast-e-mail May 20 addressed to “Dear friends” that stated, among other things, “Remember this: Only 20 percent of registered voters voted for Mr. Ireland May 8. I received just 4 percent less than he did. We CAN make up that difference. It is VITAL we pay attention and vote in this runoff!”On May 8, Ireland garnered 1,036 votes, or roughly 47 percent of the 2,183 cast. Semrau’s 747 votes came to slightly more than 34 percent, while the remainder went to Torre, with 370, and Bonnie Behrend, with 30.A candidate needed 1,093 votes, or 50 percent plus one, to win outright. Ireland, falling 57 votes short of victory, outpolled Semrau by about 13 percent when comparing the two numbers against the total number of votes cast.Semrau’s calculations – that Ireland took “only 20 percent” and that Semrau lost by “just 4 percent” – apparently used the total number of registered voters in Aspen, which City Clerk Kathryn Koch reported as 4,990. The overall turnout of the election was less than 44 percent.
Semrau’s e-mail offered information on when voting started (absentee ballots were available May 21, and can be returned until 5 p.m. June 1) and provided “an absentee ballot request form if you can’t get to city hall,” as well as a link to a videotape his campaign produced early in the race.
Ireland, though, is sticking to his basic campaign strategy of going door to door, handing out literature and talking with voters, and appearing at candidate forums.
“All it is, is about getting people to vote and not be complacent. That’s 100 percent of what we’re doing. Our belief is that if a lot of people get out to vote we’ll get the right answer, and the right answer will be Mick Ireland,” he said.Some observers noted that, on election night after the votes had been counted, Ireland was quick to praise the clean campaigning style of Torre, who finished third in the mayoral race and was eliminated. And some reportedly have seen Torre recently wearing an “Mick for Mayor” T-shirt.Ireland admitted to having criticized Torre during the race, but in an e-mail Wednesday maintained that “On the balance, Torre and I share similar views on a number of issues. I have not asked Torre for an endorsement, although I would welcome it. I’d be wearing his T-shirt today if I’d finished third.”Torre said he was wearing the T-shirt “when he gave it to me, instead of, like, carrying it.” But he said he has not endorsed either candidate, and has scheduled a meeting in the near future with Ireland “to talk about my concerns with … his intentions.”
He added that he would like to meet with Semrau, too, but no such meeting has been scheduled.Semrau’s campaign did not respond to e-mailed questions about his expectations regarding the 370 votes Torre received May 8, or whether Semrau is seeking Torre’s endorsement.John Colson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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