PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE 1/22/19:
In the first update of results for the 2019 mayoral run off election Nick Gradisar had the lead and his opponent conceded on social media.
"I think the rest of the state has been waiting for us to do this for a long time, to put someone in charge down here," Gradisar stated. " I really didn’t see myself becoming the strong mayor when I pushed for that change, but I felt the change was necessary as I said before to put someone in charge of Pueblo. "
Gradisar is expected to be the first strong mayor of Pueblo once the results are considered official. The five-year term runs through Jan. 16, 2024. The race started with 16 candidates and was narrowed down to two after the November elections.
As of 7:17 p.m.:
Nick Gradisar - 11,858
Steve Nawrocki - 8,564
Nawrocki posted the following to Facebook soon after the first results came out:
How long have you lived in Pueblo: 64 years
-BS in Social Science, Southern Colorado State College,1971
-Juris Doctor, Drake University, 1976
Current job: Partner, Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth, Attorneys at Law
Volunteer work: Board Member Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, Board Member Action 22
Political experience: I have been a member of the independently elected Pueblo Board of Water Works for 14 years. I have organized many issue campaigns in Pueblo and worked on many campaigns for candidates for public office.
Why did you decide to run for mayor?
I was a strong proponent of changing to a strong mayor system in Pueblo and I am committed to seeing the change succeed. I love my hometown, want to see it thrive and prosper and believe that I have the skills to help it do so.
What prior leadership experience do you have that makes you qualified to be the next mayor?
I have served as president of the Board of Water Works for six years, I was the chairman of the board of directors of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and for Action 22. In each of these leadership positions I was able to help the organizations move forward by developing consensus and encouraging collaboration.
What do you think is the biggest issue Pueblo is facing right now and how do you plan on addressing the problem?
The biggest problem facing Pueblo is the lack of economic activity. In the last 60 years, the population of Colorado has tripled and Pueblo has grown about ten percent. We must increase our economic activity and make it easier to do business in Pueblo.
What is your favorite thing about Pueblo? Our diversity and tolerance. Immigrants came to Pueblo from all over the world to make steel and build the American west. That diversity and our tolerance for different cultures makes Pueblo a special place.