It looks like the City of Colorado Springs has a new mayor, as Steve Bach claims victory.
Unofficial results show Bach claiming victory with a 57 percent lead over Skorman's 43 percent. As of Wednesday afternoon, all votes have been counted, with a total of 99,306 votes cast; 64 percent of registered voters.
"This is going to take an unprecedented level of cooperation between the new city council and the new mayor," said Bach.
Richard Skorman, conceding the election Tuesday night, told 11 News he’s proud of what he accomplished during the campaign.
“We ran a good campaign in a lot of ways and I’m proud of that,” he said
The candidate said he expected the race to be an uphill climb, and he got it, calling it at times an ugly and negative campaign. In a speech to a room full of supporters he mentioned a campaign ad that painted him as a liberal in favor of bigger government. Skorman took issue with the ad in the days leading up to the May 17 voting deadline as coming from a group well outside the local election.
“I’m unaffiliated,” Skorman said. “I’m not what those commercials said I was, but you can’t defend yourself.”
Still, he told his volunteers it’s time to give Steve Bach a good chance.
“I think Steve will be a good mayor because he is dedicated to the city,” he said. “I really do wish him the best. He’s a smart man and he’ll do well by the city.”
A few months ago, voters decided that the city would do away with the city manager's position and the mayor would have a lot more power and make a lot more money. The strong mayor will essentially be in charge of all city employees. Right now, about 1,620 people are on the city's payroll, but once the new mayor takes control there might be some staffing changes.
11 News also spoke with the candidates about whether or not they plan to evaluate salaries of city workers, since budget issues continue to be a big concern for the city. According to public records, city employees like the city clerk, city attorney, police chief and fire chief all earn over $100,000 a year.
"Every organization, which is successful, periodically goes through a reassessment of this business plan and how it's delivering the max value for the dollar spent, and we should do the same thing in our city government," said Bach.
Steve Bach will essentially serve as CEO of the city and make decisions and recommendations on things like staffing, budget, and even day-to-day operations. Steve Bach told KKTV 11 News days before the election that one thing he planned to do was hire a chief-of-staff.
Bach will be sworn in on June 7 and is meeting with current mayor Lionel Rivera Thursday for a one-on-one to talk about passing the mayoral torch.