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Sean Paige has his work cut out for him.

With no experience in public office and a political philosophy some might call fringe, Paige has to find his way on Colorado Springs City Council at a critical time (see this week's feature, here). He doesn't even have the advantage of a voter mandate, because he was appointed to replace Jerry Heimlicher.

He'll also have to explain why he's been preaching, in editorials and blogs, about how people should vote, while not casting a single ballot himself since moving here in 2002.

But then, nothing has come easily for Paige. He struggled through high school and meandered (his word) through a decade of college before emerging with a bachelor's degree. And he supported himself along the way, waiting tables and unloading steel.

That work ethic might be at the heart of Paige's meat-and-potatoes agenda. He tells us that given the choice to fund the Economic Development Corp. or the cop on the beat, he'll choose the cop every time. But before the officers celebrate, they should know nothing's off the table for Paige, including their sacred pensions.

As a city leader, Paige and his libertarianism will be tested more publicly than ever — which is why some Councilors wanted him on the dais. Will he waver? Paige could answer truthfully that he never has.

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