Colorado Springs municipal election: Voter guide | How to make sure your vote is counted | How campaign finances are playing out in the election | Extending the TOPS Tax | Mayor's race | At-large council race | District 3 council race
A dozen people are vying to become the next mayor of Colorado Springs. Current Mayor John Suthers can't run again due to term limits, and the race is generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
The race is nonpartisan, and the ballot includes familiar names, along with political newcomers:
Current and former office holders:
- Andrew Dalby
- Lawrence Martinez (has previously run for, but not held, office)
- Yemi Mobolade
- Jim Miller
- Christoper Mitchell
- Kallan Reece Rodebaugh
- John Tig Tiegen
KRCC sent questionnaires to all 12 candidates. Neither Tom Strand nor Kallan Reece Rodebaugh submitted responses.
Of the ten candidates who did submit responses, half labeled crime and public safety as the number one challenge facing the next mayor. Others identified topics such as growth and developer influence along with housing and homelessness. Most addressed those three issues in some way.
Complete, unedited responses are available by clicking the names below, where you will also find brief biographies of the candidates.
The 11 candidates running for at-large city council seats also identified growth as a priority. There are three open seats.
Due to the large number of candidates in the race, KRCC chose to compare summaries of their responses to questions surrounding crime and public safety, as it was identified as the top challenge facing the next mayor in half the surveys received.
Crime & Public Safety
A majority of candidates said crime and public safety is the number one challenge for the new mayor. Solutions presented include supporting officers and firefighters with training and resources, boosting recruitment and morale, and improving response times.
In the same order as they appear on the ballot, the following candidates identified crime and public safety as their number one challenge facing the next mayor:
- John Tig Tiegen called public safety the number one challenge facing the next mayor and said to address it would mean contending with what he sees as a lack of support for first responders from city leadership. He also said it's important to stop what he called a "revolving door of repeat offenders."
- Longinos Gonzales said public safety is the primary job of government, and that he wants to conduct a salary review, improve training and increase collaboration between the police department and the community as a whole.
- Jim Miller identified crime as the number one challenge, and attributed it to the negative consequences of growth.
- Darryl Glenn said he wants to make Colorado Springs "the safest city in the nation," and said he will work on retention, recruitment and community relations. He also supports increasing penalties for crimes and repealing laws that "(create) personal liability for first responders lawfully performing their duties."
- Wayne Williams said he will prioritize public safety needs, to include personnel, training, and resources. He also said he will collaborate with state and local agencies when it comes to wildfire preparedness and mitigation.
Of the candidates who identified a different topic as the number one challenge facing the new mayor, this is a summary of what they had to say, presented in the order they appear on the ballot:
- Sallie Clark identified homelessness as the number one challenge facing the new mayor. As for the most pressing public safety issue facing the city, Clark said it's ensuring police and fire departments are well-staffed and supported. She said she would engage the departments with the goal of understanding what has been tried and what changes they might make, to include the possibility of retention incentives and comparable pay and benefits.
- Yemi Mobolade said the number one challenge facing the next mayor is that of restoring public trust in local government through leadership. As for public safety, he said he wants to provide "the best tools and training," to address crime and improve response time. That would include crisis intervention training. Mobolade also wants to add more academy training classes for police and focus on women and minorities when it comes to recruiting.
- Christopher Mitchell said growth management is the number one challenge facing the next mayor. The most pressing public safety issues, Mitchell said, are recruiting goals, enforcement follow through, occupational safety and service coverage. He said he would start with a briefing from the police chief.
- Lawrence Martinez said he wants to embrace technology, including video surveillance. For him, housing costs and homelessness is the number one challenge facing the next mayor.
- Andrew Dalby said crime is "out-of-control," and that the city needs to better support public safety officers. For his number one challenge facing the next mayor, Dalby chose extricating the city from the influence and control of big developers.
In order to be counted, ballots must be returned to the city clerk's office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, April 4. There is no in-person voting, so here's how to ensure your vote is counted.
To win the mayoral race, a candidate must receive at least 50 percent of the votes, plus one vote. Should none of the 12 candidates achieve that, there will be a runoff election on May 16 between the two candidates who received the most votes.
Quick responses from mayoral 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?|
|Sallie Clark||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No||No answer||Yes|
|Kallan Reece Rodebaugh||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer|
|Blessing "Yemi" Mobolade||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer|
|Christopher Mitchell||Yes||No||No answer||No||No||No answer||No|
|Longinos Gonzalez Jr.||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Tom Strand||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer||No answer|
|Jim Miller||No answer||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No answer||No|
Short biographies of who is on the ballot for the office of Mayor of Colorado Springs, in the order they appear on the ballot. The information was gleaned from the candidate's responses (if submitted), their websites, and other sources. Click on each name to view complete survey results.
Sallie Clark is a long-time local businesswoman turned regional politician. She served as a former city councilor and El Paso County commissioner. Most recently, Clark worked for the USDA during the Trump Administration as the Colorado State Director for USDA Rural Development. Clark champions her experience at all levels of government. She also speaks of a collaborative approach to leadership.
According to city records, Clark ran for mayor previously in 1999 and 2003, prior to voters approving a shift to a strong mayor form of government in 2011.
Kallan Reece Rodebaugh
Kallan Reece Rodebaugh describes himself as a stand-up comedian and model. At a recent forum put on by the Palmer Land Conservancy, Kallan Reece Rodebaugh said he was running for mayor to motivate young people to get involved in politics and have "fresh minds" in office.
Candidate did not respond to survey
John Tig Tiegen
Former Marine John Tig Tiegen said he is running because he will not allow "corruption, failed communication, and lack of accountability of our elected officials" to continue in Colorado Springs. In an interview with KOAA, Tiegen said he believes in individual freedom and being mayor would help return that freedom to the individual.
Local businessman Yemi Mobolade co-founded Good Neighbors Meeting House and The Wild Goose Meeting House, among other endeavors. He also founded a church. In the public sector, Mobolade has been an advocate for small businesses with the city. He has also worked with the Chamber and Economic Development Corp.. Mobolade said he sees this role as an opportunity to "restore public trust in local government." He is a naturalized citizen and calls himself a political independent.
His business partner with Wild Goose and Good Neighbors, Russ Ware, was accused of financial mismanagement of a downtown Colorado Springs restaurant that closed, according to the Gazette. According to the article, Wild Goose Meeting House and Good Neighbors Meeting House filed police reports related to the allegations and moved to split ties with Ware.
Editor's note: This has been updated to clarify Mobolade's relationship with Russ Ware.
Christopher Mitchell is an engineer. He describes himself as a "Patriot, Constitutional Conservative, transformational leader, and rugged individualist." At a recent forum put on by the Palmer Land Conservancy, Mitchell said focusing on the nexus of growth and conservation is one of the most important things the city needs to do. On his website, he said as part of his platform, he wants to dismantle the recently passed ReToolCOS zoning plan and the larger city-wide plan known as PlanCOS.
Lawrence Joseph Martinez
Lawrence Joseph Martinez has lived in Colorado Springs for more than 30 years. He went to school in Pueblo and came to Colorado Springs to work in the nursing field. He previously ran for mayor in 2019 and in 2015. In his responses to KRCC's questionnaire, Martinez said he wants to elevate the voice of residents.
Longinos Gonzalez, Jr.
Longinos Gonzalez, Jr. is a current El Paso County Commissioner. He's also a former teacher in Harrison District 2, an Air Force veteran and a graduate of the Air Force Academy. Gonzalez said he is running for mayor "to give back to the community," and because he believes in public service.
Recent media coverage places Gonzalez at a Moms for Liberty meeting. The group advocates for "parental rights," and according to Sixty35, has a local anti-LQBTQ history. According to the article, Gonzalez said "he wasn't aware of their background," but allegedly ignored a question about distancing himself from the group.
Tom Strand is the current president of Colorado Springs City Council. He's a retired military officer and lawyer. His public service extends to serving as vice president and president of the District 11 Board of Education.
Andrew Dalby is a Colorado Springs native, small business owner and political newcomer. Dalby said the politics in the region have been run by the same people, "and (they) just rotate offices when they hit their term limits." In an interview with KOAA, he said that makes it difficult to have them be responsive to the citizens. Dalby calls himself a "small-government conservative" and has pledged to serve only one term if elected.
Jim Miller said he's lived in Colorado Springs for 14 years and owns a vending business and a small tire shop. He told KOAA in an interview that local elected positions should be held by people who have "skin in the game."
Darryl Glenn is a former city councilman and El Paso County Commissioner. In 2016, he was the GOP nominee in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic Senator Michael Bennet. In 2018, he unsuccessfully challenged Republican Representative Doug Lamborn in a primary race. Glenn is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and spent more than two decades in the Air Force–both active duty and reserve.
In a recent forum presented in part by the Palmer Land Conservancy, Glenn identified himself as "an unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative, pro-life, Second Amendment-loving veteran." He wants to make Colorado Springs "the safest city in the nation."
Glenn's wife is running for one of three open at-large council seats in this election.
Wayne Williams is a current at-large city councilman. He previously served as Colorado's Secretary of State, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder and El Paso County commissioner. His wife, Holly, is a current El Paso County Commissioner.
He identifies with a collaborative approach to addressing topics in the city and region-wide. "Through community collaboration," he said in KRCC's candidate questionnaire, "Colorado Springs (should remain) the very best city to live, work and raise our families."
The city recently dismissed an ethics complaint against Williams that accused him of misusing city resources in campaign materials.
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