Will he or won’t he? | AspenTimes.com

Will he or won’t he?

Pitkin County Commissioner Mick Ireland says he isn’t running for mayor of Aspen – at least not yet.Rumors that Ireland is interested in seeking the post in 2007 have been making the rounds in local political circles. Ireland will be banned by term limits from seeking another hitch as Pitkin County commissioner when this term expires in November. The Aspen mayor’s seat will be up for grabs in spring 2007 when incumbent Helen Klanderud is ousted by term limits. Ireland acknowledged the gossip about his candidacy last month when he spoke at the Pitkin County Democratic Party Assembly.Out of the blue, Ireland took the unusual step of announcing his non-candidacy. He said right now his political interest is helping the campaigns of Democrats like Aspenite Gail Schwartz, who is seeking a seat in the state Senate.Ireland is widely considered an expert campaigner, specifically at identifying voters who will support a candidate or cause and rallying them to the polls.But careful listeners at the Democratic county assembly noted that Ireland didn’t slam the door on a mayoral bid. He confirmed this week he hasn’t made a definitive decision on his candidacy.”I would certainly consider it, but right now it’s not on the to-do list,” he said.Elected officials of one jurisdiction rarely try to sway issues in another jurisdiction, but Ireland has made no secret lately of his concerns about the direction Aspen is going. He has spoken at meetings and written letters on development issues. Ireland is good friends with Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss, who has taken a tough stance on growth.Ireland said he plans to submit a letter to the editors of the local newspapers soon outlining his positions on several big issues facing the city. However, he insists that isn’t necessarily a sign he’s running for city office.Ireland indicated he’s gotten worn down over the last dozen years working as a lawyer and serving as a Pitkin County commissioner. It would be nice, he said, to have just one good job.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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