Two Candidates Will Enter Runoff For Springs Mayor


Richard Skorman and Steve Bach will have to take part in a runoff election to decide the first strong mayor of Colorado Springs.

Both appeared Wednesday morning on KKTV 11 News.

In Tuesday's election, no candidate got the majority, more than 50 percent of votes, needed to win the election. That means a runoff election will be needed.

On paper Bach came in second when the results were released. With a run off in the works taking the night’s two top vote recipients, second place is not a bad place to be for Bach.

Late Tuesday night, Bach trailed Richard Skorman by about 1,600 votes, but still captured enough to stay alive in the race for strong mayor.

A group of his supporters cheered him on at a watch party at BJ's in Colorado Springs.

With 25,122 votes, as reported at 9:30 p.m., Bach came out ahead of six other candidates on the ballot, including businessman Brian Bahr and term-limited council member Tom Gallagher.

Carrying the endorsement of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and a list of others Bach believes his background in business management and economic development make him a good fit to be strong mayor.

He now has to pick up the race again for a future decision against Skorman.

"We'll have a healthy dialogue with my opponent. He's a good man,” Bach said. “We differ, philosophically, on how we think the city government should best be run, and how to get our economy going again. So we'll just have a healthy debate about that."

Bach said Tuesday he hoped for a decisive win as opposed to the run off to save the $480,000 it will cost the city to hold the follow up election. With his wife by his side, he said he’s ready to get back to work.

Candidate Richard Skorman spoke to supporters at Stargazers Theater. The man with the most political experience in the race, asked them to get ready to roll up their sleeves and go back to work.

His volunteer crew of 300 have been knocking on doors and calling residents on the phone. He believes he will have to reach out to those who aren't "the usual suspects."

Skorman says Bach will have big development money behind him. Skorman says he's thankful to the 1,350 people who have donated anywhere from $5 to $50 to help him in his election bid.

Skorman told us, "We're going to get out there and keep moving along and make this a real campaign. We have an opponent now and so this will be a lot more clear for voters. People will be able to see what the differences are between us and what our visions are."

The runoff election will also be conducted by mail-in ballots.
The election will cost the city about $480 thousand, which was budgeted on the chance a runoff election was needed.

Ballots will be mailed out between April 22 and May 2, and May 17 will be the final election day.

The city will be using all the same drop off sites. Those locations can be found by clicking on Find It.

The "strong” mayor system eliminates the city manager’s job which was implemented in Colorado Springs in 1920. The mayor will take over the day-to-day duties as the city's boss including overseeing the city budget, which will still need council approval.

Seven candidates were in the running for mayor: Steve Bach, Brian Bahr, Kenneth Duncan, Tom Gallagher, Buddy Gilmore, Dave Munger, Richard Skorman. Munger and Bahr conceded soon after the first numbers came out.

Bahr's camp released a statement election night saying in part, "Our campaign is proud of the race we ran. Bahr will continue to be a champion of Colorado Springs and will continue to serve our community."

Munger said the following in a release to the media. "While the election did not turn out the way I would have liked, I am privileged to have been part of this process and to have participated in this historic and important election. I wish Richard Skorman and Steve Bach good luck as they continue their journey.”

Each of the candidates appeared in March on 11 News and told us about their plans for Colorado Springs if they were to be elected.

Richard Skorman says he would support domestic partner benefits, if elected to the position. Skorman also said he wants to find a way to fund city services that have been shortchanged in recent years. Skorman said he would not come out against any new taxes, saying he will decide on a case-by-case basis.

Steve Bach says the city is not business-friendly right now. He said there are too many regulations and it takes too long to get permits for existing companies to grow, and for new companies to move here. The U.S. Army veteran and UCCS graduate said every single dollar spent by the city needs to be used more efficiently. Bach also said his years of experience in economic development and commercial real estate give him insight on how to retain businesses and attract new businesses to Colorado Springs. He said he has experience running a business that will help him run the city.

Richard Skorman said Tuesday night, "We're going to make this a real campaign. We have an opponent now, and this will make it more clear for voters."

Steve Bach also commented, "I'm just thrilled. I think we're just so happy. We have so many great supporters and I just thank the voters."

Stay with 11 News as we bring you the latest information in this historic election as it becomes available.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lisa Location: C.Springs on Apr 13, 2011 at 02:07 AM
    Agreed James. We could whine all day about monetary costs of a runoff, but ensuring swing votes are accounted for and the "people's choice" earns this election is simply "the right thing to do." There was no winner before, so let's make it clear who Colorado Springs really wants to break through what's become a bureaucracy in our gridlocked city government. Voters deserve an opportunity to actually empower reform in City Hall after a history of politics that's held back our community.
  • by James Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM
    We have a runoff because there was no winner (i.e. No Clear Winning Candidate). What's confusing about that? Our community deserves to have the candidate with a true majority vote in office. Your fiscal concern is shared but this law is in place and must be followed. Quit whining over having to vote again.
  • by Jean Location: CS on Apr 8, 2011 at 07:10 PM
    Why is there a runoff election? Why spend an additional $480,000? We clearly have a winning candidate and Colorado Springs clearly has many other pressing finanical needs. Strange to say the least....
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 7, 2011 at 01:53 PM
    I'm saying it would be a shrewd move to withdraw for the sake of saving money for the city. It doesn't matter if he wrote the law or not, because as a leader, you act in the best interests of others, not simply blame the law and keep going. Followers do that.
  • by CJ Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 7, 2011 at 01:44 PM
    Spending the money for a run-off does seem rather a waste. While there was not a 50% winner, there was a clear winner. Use the $480,000 wisely on the infrastructure that is falling apart instead of stroking some person's ego. There is always another election, but in Colorado Springs, there isn't always another bus, light, trash can, good road, etc.
  • by Justin Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:41 AM
    So, if a guy has reasonable plans for growing the economy that could mean millions of dollars in new revenue for the city he should just bow out now in order to save a few hundred that has already been budgeted for the very purpose of putting the city in a better position to succeed in the future? How does that make sense? That is short sighted thinking. He didn't write the rules for the electing a mayor, which allowed for a runoff election in this very scenario. So expecting him to simply give up at this point is silly, and I'd guess it's a poor attempt at supporting the candidate you prefer by trying to paint a negative picture of the one you don't. That sort of sounds like the same sort of dirty campaign tactics we keep getting in all of these elections that everyone claims to hate so much. How about we let the process play out as it was designed and talk about the merits of their ideas? And for the record, I didn't vote for Bach.
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 6, 2011 at 09:57 PM
    Sarah B, you are correct. If a candidate claims to be for cutting costs, yet still allows over 4 times his already high salary to be sent so he can commit to a runoff of an election he lost, that speaks volumes. A smart person would use a withdrawal as a statement, thus ensuring they have a very good chance of election next time around. Put the finances of the city before your ego. You lost, it was close, and your prospects are good for the next time around, Mr. Bach. $400,000 could really help the city.
  • by Jay Location: CS on Apr 6, 2011 at 04:08 PM
    Awesome! Predicting Bach at 55%! Come on conservatives get behind the best man for the job.
  • by Tim Vlach Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:34 PM
    National news reports- City of Colorado Springs is having financial difficulties and therefore shuts down a number of it's street lights. Now our poor city will now spend over $400,000 for a "run off election" for a single sub $100,000 (mayor) job. No wonder we're poor! Take the candidate with most number of votes and end it! Use the savings for park trash cans and turn on the street lights.
  • by Robbie on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:15 PM
    Sarah B, I second your idea. It's the only proper thing to do with our city being in such dire financial straits. Please consider this, Mr. Bach. Mr. Skorman did apparently get the most votes.
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