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CB Council election turns into a real race

It could be an interesting fall

by Mark Reaman

There will be a race for Crested Butte mayor and Crested Butte Town Council this fall. In fact, four people are running for mayor, and eight people are running for four open council seats.

Three of the seven current Town Council members have filed a petition to be the next mayor of town. Current mayor Glenn Michel stated earlier this summer he would not be seeking reelection for the town’s top elected office. He is finishing out his first term as mayor.

Hoping to sit in the center seat are former mayor Jim Schmidt, along with councilmen Chris Ladoulis and Paul Merck. Merck is two years into his first four-year council term. Ladoulis is finishing his first term on council. Political newcomer and longtime local Tracy Smith is also seeking the mayor’s job.

Running for four open council seats is a cast of newcomers. Three of the council seats are for four-year terms, while the fourth seat will be up in 2019. Jackson Petito was appointed in December 2016 to fill the seat of Erika Vohman, who resigned from council, and Petito is now running for office.

Joining him on the ballot are Kyle “Squirl” Ryan, Chris Haver, Candice Bradley, Lisa Merck, Kent Cowherd, William Dujardin, and Richard Machemehl.

Each of the candidates had to collect signatures from 10 valid voters in Crested Butte and had to have lived in town for the year prior to the election.

A drawing to determine the order of the candidates on the ballot will be held Wednesday, September 6 at 9 a.m. in the Town Council chambers.

The Crested Butte News will be asking each of the candidates a series of questions throughout the fall to get their perspective on the issues facing the community. The News will also host a Candidate’s Forum sometime in October.

September 8 is the last day to certify the ballot so if any of those who submitted petitions have second thoughts, they can pull out any time before then and not be on the ballot. Ballots will be sent out by the county to local voters on October 16.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7.

Given the four-person race for mayor, it is possible a run-off election will be necessary.

To win that mayoral race, a candidate must garner 50 percent plus one vote of the total votes cast. If no one reaches the 50 percent threshold on November 7, the top two vote-getters will have a runoff election on the third Tuesday of December. In the meantime, the council will appoint a mayor to run the meetings until the runoff.

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