A look at the candidates running for at-large seats on Colorado Springs City Council

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Colorado Springs City Hall on Feb, 14, 2023.

Voters in Colorado Springs are choosing three new at-large city councilors from a slate of 11 candidates. The winners will serve a four-year term, representing the city as a whole, rather than individual districts. 

This election will be different from the recent November contests, though, as ballots will only be accepted by mail or in a 24/7 ballot drop-off box.

The last two elections for an at-large seat have also had around a dozen candidates. there is no potential run-off like in the mayoral race. What that means is that the top three finishers who will become the new at-large city councilors – will likely receive just a fraction of the total votes. For example, in the last two at large elections, the top candidates were elected by winning 15 to 18 percent of the vote. A third place finisher was elected to his seat with just under 12 percent of the vote.

Short bios for each candidate can be found at the bottom of this page.

Here’s who’s on the ballot:

Click each name to see detailed responses to the KRCC survey. Only nine of the 11 candidates submitted responses.

Quick responses from at-large council candidates

Would you support city councilors receiving a living wage or salary as opposed to the annual stipend of $6,250?Do you support the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs?Would you support creating an independent board for Colorado Springs Utilities, rather than having council serve as the board?Do you support Front Range Rail?Do you support extending Constitution Avenue?Is the city adequately addressing climate change and adaptation?Do you support the ballot measure that extends the TOPS sales tax?
Jaymen JohnsonYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
David Leinweber YesNoNoYesNo YesYes
Lynette Crow-IversonNo answer No answer No answer No answer No answer No answer No answer
Katherine GayleYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Brian RisleyNoNoNoYesNoYesYes
Roland RaineyYesNoYesYesNoYesYes
Glenn CarlsonYesYesNoYesNoNoYes
Jay Inman No answer No answer No answer No answer No answer No answer No answer
Chineta DavisYesYesYesYesNoNoYes
Gordon KlingenschmittNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
Jane Northrup GlennNoYesNoNoNo NoNo
*The Constitution Avenue Study was removed from the transportation plan after the surveys were sent out.

Familiar names on the ballot

Four of the candidates ran for city council at least once during the last decade, either for an at-large seat or to represent their individual districts including Lynette Crow-Iverson, Jay Inman, Glenn Carlson and Gordon Klingenschmitt. Jaymen Johnson threw his name in the hat once, but withdrew before the ballots were printed. 

Voters are concerned about how fast the city is growing

Most of the candidates talked about growth and its far reaching effects in their responses. Kat Gayle, Glenn Carlson, Bryan Risley and Johnsonsay said managing growth is the number one challenge facing city leaders. 

We also asked a specific question about sustainable and responsible growth and we got a wide range of responses including limiting urban sprawl, removing developer incentives and finding ways to make sure growth captures a better life for everyone, not just for some. 

Water, water, water

All of the candidates said they have at least some concern about the city’s future water resources because of the ongoing drought and threat of Colorado River water use restrictions. Most of them generally support a new ordinance that requires Colorado Springs Utilities to have enough water supply to meet 128 percent of demand before new land annexations can happen, although several say that the data supporting it needs to be regularly updated. A few said they felt the decision was rushed and more time was needed to decide on the best plan. 

Housing: It’s getting expensive to live in Colorado Springs

When it comes to addressing affordable housing the candidates fall roughly into two camps. There’s one set of candidates – Klingenschmitt, Carlson, Risley, Northrup-Glenn, and Rainey –  who believe the government should stay out of it and let the market take care of it. The other group, Johnson, Gayle, Davis and Lienweber,  leans towards a more policy driven approach that includes promoting infill using vacant land and renewal of blighted areas. 

We also asked a question in the survey about homelessness. There are a few candidates who think the city is doing a good job already. Most of the candidates look to the nonprofit sector to address the situation, often mentioning public-private partnerships and the need for more mental health services. A couple of them – Davis and Gayle – call for more data gathering and research to better understand the root causes of homelessness. 

Oh the traffic… and the buses

Every candidate for the at-large seats said they recognize the traffic issues in Colorado Springs and how car dependent folks are in the city. Several of them feel that the city is making progress with roads through PPRTA and other initiatives. Others are advocating for improving public transit options,  but notably there are a couple – Klingenschmitt and Northrup-Glenn – who think that the bus system shouldn’t be subsidized with taxpayer money and should run on user fees or that churches and nonprofits should take this service on.

What about bikes and walking?

Nearly all the candidates support improving bike and pedestrian options, but none of them see it as a primary focus. Klingenschmitt has, in his words, “campaigned against excessive bike-lanes and road-dieting in high-traffic areas.”

Public Safety, Crime and more...

The candidates responded to many additional questions delving into their stances on law enforcement, evacuation planning and more. Their answers to all of the questions are available following the short biographies below, which were gleaned from the candidates responses (if submitted), their websites and other sources.

Jaymen C. Johnson

Jaymen C. Johnson has been a Colorado Springs resident for 22 years, mostly in District 3 on the city’s westside. As an entrepreneur he opened the now closed Speakeasy Vape Lounge and Cannabis Club and other businesses. He’s made a point of attending and often speaking at nearly every City Council meeting for the last eight years and advocates for a more diverse, accessible, and transparent city government. Johnson threw his name in the hat for a previous council election in 2017, but withdrew before the ballots were printed.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

David Leinweber

Local businessman David Leinweber focuses on access to the outdoors and mental health awareness. A Colorado native and resident of Colorado Springs for 32 years, he and his wife own and manage a fly fishing shop and guide service. Eight years ago, Leinweber founded the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, a coalition of small businesses, government agencies and conservation groups aimed at stewarding outdoor resources. He’s also been involved with other community groups and done outdoor advocacy work at the state level, including helping set policy. He has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries from Rockmont College.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Lynette Crow-Iverson

Longtime Colorado Springs resident and businesswoman Lynette Crow-Iverson prioritizes the city’s public safety, infrastructure and economy. After earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing at CSU Pueblo and working as a registered nurse, she founded, operated and franchised a drug screening and employee compliance service and sold the business last year. She now advocates for the ballot issue campaigns supporting the city's Trails Open Space and Parks program and Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority. Crow-Iverson previously ran unsuccessfully for the City Council District 5 seat in 2017

Candidate did not respond to survey

Katherine Gayle

Katherine "Kat" Gayle grew up in Colorado and married a Marine-turned-diplomat, whose career took their family all over the world, eventually landing in Colorado Springs. Both abroad and locally, she’s worked on various humanitarian projects including children’s food and medical aid, anti-trafficking programs and access for people with disabilities. She’s an advocate for transparent accountable government, supporting public safety personnel, and smart growth. Gayle holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Amherst College and a juris doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. 

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Brian Risley

Colorado Springs native Brian Risley is the principal architect for CRP Architects. He’s led the El Paso County Planning Commission and Pikes Peak YMCA Regional Transportation, as well as serving on the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority and other local groups. Risley’s priorities include making housing and other costs more affordable, supporting first responders and limiting government overreach into the realm of private business. He has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Roland Rainey Jr.

Public safety is at the top of retired U.S. Air Force officer Roland Rainey's priorities list. The 14-year resident of Colorado Springs formerly worked as a defense contractor, CSU Pueblo adjunct professor and founder of the Colorado Springs Cyclones semi-professional football organization. He’s served on the boards of Colorado Springs World Affairs Council, Banning Lewis Academy and volunteered for other community groups. He has masters degrees from UCCS and CSU and other certifications.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Glenn Carlson

Former president of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Glenn Carlson is a Colorado Springs native. Currently the owner of two massage therapy clinics, he’s also been involved in real estate, technology and the automotive industries. His priorities include focusing on economy, infrastructure, safety, parks and open space. Carlson holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colorado College. He’s previously run for City Council, coming in second for the District 1 seat in 2021 and coming in fifth for an At-Large seat in 2015.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Jay Inman

A resident of Colorado Springs for more than two decades, Jay Inman is an Army veteran who retired last year from the private sector tech industry.  Among his top priorities are crime and public safety, utility costs and the economy. The author of multiple books covering futuristic theology, he also teaches about the Bible and history. In an unsuccessful run for City Council District 2 in 2021 he described himself as a Christian Conservative pro-life Republican. He has a master’s degree from New Mexico State University.

Candidate did not respond to survey 

Chineta Davis

Longtime El Paso county resident Chineta Davis’ priorities include affordable housing, health care, transportation and living wages for working families, along with environmental issues like water scarcity and advocating for equity in government. She’s a licensed insurance sales agent with CLDS Business Developers and has previously managed local campaigns for candidates from both parties.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Gordon Klingenschmitt

Evangelical chaplain, activist and former Colorado state representative Gordon James Klingenschmitt leads Pray In Jesus' Name Ministries. His priorities include infrastructure, natural resources, supporting first responders, and minimizing tax burdens. A 20-year military veteran, U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, he has a doctorate degree in theology from Regent University. He unsuccessfully ran for an at-large city council seat in 2019 and to be the Republican candidate for an El Paso County Commissioner seat in 2020.

Klingenschmitt’s extreme stances against abortion rights and LGBTQ+ protections, among other things, have generated both controversy and criticism. Additionally, he battled with the U.S. Navy over its requirement to deliver non-sectarian prayers outside of formal worship services and in 2006 he was court-martialed, reprimanded and ousted from the service for wearing his Naval chaplain’s uniform to a political protest. That ruling was eventually changed and he received an honorable discharge.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey

Jane Northrup Glenn

The author of several books of prophetic Christian messaging in relation to government, Jane Northrup Glenn has also worked in the business and non-profit sectors. Along with supporting emergency responders and not trusting government, she believes that the city and its residents need to be self-sufficient and decentralized to be prepared for “bad things” in the next few years including economic hardships, another pandemic, food shortages and more.

Northrup Glenn grew up in Colorado Springs and holds a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from CSU in Fort Collins. After nearly three decades in Fort Collins, she returned to Colorado Springs with her husband, mayoral candidate Darryl Glenn, in 2016.

Click here to read the candidate’s responses to survey