Mayoral Race Could Get "Nasty"

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The Colorado Springs mayoral race is heating up. Another city council member is throwing his hat into the ring.

Doctor Ted Eastburn is the fourth city council member to announce his candidacy. "Together we can all imagine what we want, a city of excellence. It would be my honor to lead you towards that goal as your next mayor."

Eastburn was elected to an at-large council position in 1999. He says as mayor, he would work to bring more jobs to Colorado Springs and make the city a "Fitness Capital."

Some local political experts think this could be the biggest mayoral race ever. Vice Mayor Lionel Rivera, and council members Sallie Clark and Jim Null have already made their announcements.

Bob Loevy is a political science professor at Colorado College. "No one can say for sure who the mayor of Colorado Springs is going to be." Loevy says the winner may not be decided over the issues, like traffic, the drought or the economy. Instead, he feels the deciding factor may be the candidate's reputation. "On whether on has a pro-business philosophy, pro-environment philosophy or a pro-neighborhood philosophy."

Loevy also says, don't be surprised to see negative campaigns in this tight race. "The stakes are too high here for it to all be positive."

Former Colorado Springs city council member and political columnist John Hazelhurst is also keeping a close eye on the mayor's race. He says this will drastically change the composition of city council, which may be a bigger story than who wins mayor's seat. "It may well be that the future of the city is decided on who's elected council."

Hazelhurst says the lesser-known candidates who run for mayor probably won't have a chance of winning. But they could ultimately change the outcome of the election by capturing voters who support the issue on which they're running.

Colorado Springs mayoral election is set for April.