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City election roundup 

Last-minute strategy and Indy endorsements

Less than a week before the city election, voters can expect another media bombardment similar to the one just after the ballots were mailed. The campaign, explains strategist Kyle Blakely, mirrors the peak-valley-peak trend of voter turnout. Blakely, who owns a local advertising agency, has placed $71,149 in billboard, radio and TV ads for seven of the nine Council candidates (all but Dave Martin and Jan Martin).

Blakely says a fair number of voters cast their ballots two weeks ago, immediately after receiving them. After a short lull, voters will scramble to turn in their ballots before deadline, and the campaign ads will pop up again to influence them.

While the current race is typical in terms of timeline, it also has been unique in a host of ways.

With a largely uncontested mayoral race, most advertising dollars have been spent by the nine at-large City Council candidates. The second all-mail municipal election in Colorado Springs history raises questions about how to reach voters. Then theres the issue of negative campaign ads, a first for a Colorado Springs city election.

Using county and city voter records, Blakely has determined a target audience for his candidates ads. People older than 35 tend to vote more than younger individuals, and people who have voted regularly over the past five years are almost certain to vote again in the municipal election.

But Blakely and others agree that direct mail is the most effective way to reach voters. Its also the most expensive; mailers go for around 35 cents per piece.

Sarah Jack, director of political affairs for the Housing and Building Association, has sent $40,828 worth of mailers for HBA-endorsed council candidates Greg Timm, Larry Small, Randy Purvis, Bernie Herpin, Tom Gallagher and Tom Harold.

You are not getting people excited [in] that last week, she says. While I think reaching out is an important part of any campaign, I would not [spend] my energy on walking door to door whereas in a partisan election, door to door would make sense.

As of Tuesday, 28,200 ballots around 19 percent had been turned in, leaving this years response 8,000 ballots shy of 2003s all-mail total. naomi@csindy.com

Cheat sheet

Mayor

Independent recommendation:

Lionel Rivera

At-large positions

(vote for up to four)

Gold endorsement:

Jan Martin

Silver endorsement:

Tom Harold

Best of rest:

Randy Purvis, Larry Small

Issue A

Removing references to city treasurer: Yes

Issue B

Revised term limits for mayor: Yes

Issue C

Pay raise for mayor and City Council: Yes

Issue D

City manager not overseeing

Memorial Hospital: Yes

Issue E

Cable franchise for Porchlight: Yes

Election roundup

When: Election day is Tuesday, April 3, 2007.

Where: Mail ballots no later than Friday to ensure being on time, or drop off ballots anytime from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 3 at the City Clerk's office, 30 S. Nevada Ave., Suite 101; Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave.; Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, 3920 Dublin Blvd.; or Sand Creek Family Center, 550 Sand Creek Drive.

Problems: If you didn't receive a ballot, or have lost yours, contact the City Clerk's office at 385-5901.

Reference: Check the Independent's endorsements and recommendations, published in the March 15 and 22 issues, at csindy.com/csindy/archives, or check copies of those issues at the Indy office, 235 S. Nevada Ave.

  • Last-minute strategy and Indy endorsements

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