Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Colorado Springs' choice for mayor: Suthers, in a landslide

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 8:29 PM


John Suthers
will be the next mayor of Colorado Springs.

Yes, it's only the first round of results, and yes, there's a ways to go before everything's made final, but with 68 percent of the vote so far, the former state attorney general is clearly cruising to a victory over Mary Lou Makepeace in the 2015 mayoral runoff.

Here's the info, released by the City Clerk's Office at 7:15 p.m.:

click to enlarge screen_shot_2015-05-19_at_7.18.27_pm.png

It's an outcome that will surprise few, given that Suthers easily bested Makepeace, who served as the city's mayor (in a council-manager form of government) from 1997 to 2003, in the April 7 general election. Suthers took 46 percent, with Makepeace at 24 percent and four others well behind her.

However, because he didn't take 50 percent of the vote, city rules under the relatively new strong-mayor form of government allowed the second-place finisher a chance in a runoff.

Suthers, who was term-limited as state Attorney General a few months ago, will bring deep local roots to the office. He grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1970; after completing his undergraduate studies at Notre Dame, he returned to Colorado for law school at CU.

His first public service came right after that, as a deputy district attorney in Colorado Springs, and he returned to the office when he was elected DA in 1988. He served for two terms there, and has spent much of the time since working at the state level — first as head of the Department of Corrections, and then as attorney general.

Suthers’ name recognition, solid reputation and conservative cred helped him land major endorsements and donations during the mayoral campaign. After speaking mostly in general terms about the need for civility, better infrastructure and economic development on the campaign trail, he’ll be pressed to articulate specific goals and plans upon taking office on June 2, and probably before.

In at least one arena, he's wasting no time: Indy senior reporter Pam Zubeck says that according to his acceptance speech, Suthers will announce his selection for chief of staff Wednesday afternoon.

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