Lathen, Suthers start mayoral race 

El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers will campaign to become mayor of Colorado Springs, both have announced separately.

The incumbent, Steve Bach, has said he'll make a decision about his plans in the next couple of months. The election is April 7.

Midway through her second commission term representing east-side District 2, Lathen (pictured) is known for her conservative stances. As a commissioner, she's been a strong proponent of gun rights and a frequent critic of the federal government. Lately, she's been in the news due to her leadership in bringing forth a regional stormwater funding proposal.

In a press release, Lathen suggested she might do a better job of building bridges between City Council and the mayor's office than Bach, who has feuded often with councilors.

"It is time to UNLOCK the doors of the Mayor's Office," she stated in a press release Monday. "It is time to move the Mayor's Office to City Hall with City Council in order to begin real work and collaboration. The citizens of this extraordinary City deserve open access to their City government. It is time for professional and respectful relationships between the Mayor and members of City Council, as well as all regional leadership. Despite differences, civility must be restored."

Lathen has lived in Colorado Springs for 30 years.

As for Suthers, he has lived in Colorado Springs since infancy. He says in an interview he'll begin his campaign in earnest after he finishes his second AG term in January.

"I love Colorado Springs," he says. "I literally grew up with the city. I remember when Circle Drive was a dirt road."

But, he adds, "I've watched, in my opinion, the city lose considerable traction over the last 10 to 15 years. I don't think anybody disputes the fact we're in desperate need of collaborative leadership. I do think I have a management style that would move the city forward."

Like Lathen, Suthers is a staunch conservative. He's spent two terms as 4th Judicial District attorney; served as Colorado Department of Corrections director for two years; and served as U.S. Attorney for Colorado. He was appointed as attorney general in 2005, an office to which he was subsequently elected for two terms.

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