The latest batch of ballots counted, released at 9:38 p.m.
, puts us just shy of 75,000 total. With only one issue still in doubt, we're turning in for the night. To recap:
, it will be John Suthers
and Mary Lou Makepeace
advancing to a May 19 runoff election.
: Merv Bennett, Tom Strand
and Bill Murray
Council District 2
: Larry Bagley
Council District 4
: Helen Collins
will keep her seat.
: The mayor will be relieved of sign-off authority on Colorado Springs Utilities contracts and agreements.
: It's still a mystery whether Council will get to hire its own administrator and assume a few other responsibilities related to staffing. Check out these numbers:
Come back to the IndyBlog tomorrow for more on tonight's events.
——- PREVIOUS POST, 8:59 P.M. ——-
The City Clerk's Office just released info reflecting more than 2,000 additional counted ballots, but the only noteworthy change comes in the ballot question regarding Council being able to hire its own staff. Now only 82 votes separate the "no" votes from the "yes" votes.
——- PREVIOUS POST, 8:37 P.M. ——-
According to both Suthers and city communications professional Julie Smith
, there were 11,000 votes
not yet counted in the city clerk's first round of results.
At this point, though, both Suthers and Makepeace are talking about a runoff election.
, who's at Suthers' party at the Mining Exchange Hotel, reports that Suthers spoke to about 150 wildly enthusiastic supporters, saying, “We celebrate tonight, but tomorrow morning we go to work. We need to make sure everyone who voted for us tonight votes for us on May 19.”
J. Adrian Stanley
, at Makepeace's gathering at Nosh, says the mood was more subdued, but that Makepeace said the runoff would be "all about getting out the vote." Makepeace noted that in the last mayoral election, 8,000 more ballots were cast in the runoff than in the general municipal election.
——- ORIGINAL POST, 8:08 P.M. ——-
Former Attorney General John Suthers
is well out in front in Colorado Springs' 2015 mayoral race
, but the numbers suggest he won't be able to escape a runoff against former Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace
The first round of unofficial numbers from the City Clerk's Office
, time-stamped 7:38 p.m., show Suthers having received 33,214 votes, or 47.41 percent. Makepeace stands in second place, with 16,112 votes, or 23 percent.
Under the strong-mayor initiative of a few years ago, a mayor can't be elected without at least 50 percent of the vote. A runoff election pitting Suthers against Makepeace would be scheduled
for May 19.
Meanwhile, former City Councilor Joel Miller has gotten 15.51 percent of the vote, and El Paso County Commission Chair Amy Lathen
11.21 percent. Two long-shot candidates, Tony Carpenter
and Lawrence Martinez
, have together taken less than 3 percent.
These numbers reflect 70,673 votes counted. Votes filed earlier Tuesday are still being tallied, but what's counted so far represents the vast majority of the take from about three weeks of mail-ballot and drop-off voting.
In the race for City Council at-large
, two of the most well-funded candidates
seem to be cruising toward victory. With three seats up for grabs, the early results find Merv Bennett
and Tom Strand
out in front, with Bill Murray
edging Jariah Walker
Meanwhile, in District 2, sitting Councilor Larry Bagley
is easily defeating Kanda Calef
with 70.61 percent of the vote. And in District 4, Councilor Helen Collins
appears safe from a fairly bizarre
recall effort, with 55.38 percent of southeast-side voters wanting her to say on Council.
As for the two issues on the ballot, 52.64 percent of voters are willing to amend the city charter in order to grant City Council final sign-off authority on contracts and agreements made by Colorado Springs Utilities
. (Council serves as the Utilities Board.) But it's a toss-up as to whether voters will allow Council to hire its own administrator and to be able to direct and supervise that administrator, the city auditor, and their employees and assistants. Right now, 50.16 percent of voters are saying no. That's a difference of 208 votes, out of nearly 67,000 cast on that issue.