The endorsement wars are heating up, as City Council candidates vie for money, legitimacy, and support.
In something of a surprise, the Regional Business Alliance declined to endorse any of the five candidates in District 1, including highly visible council incumbent (and Bach ally) Tim Leigh. That may have been because of Leigh’s ongoing battle with Colorado Springs Utilities, which many in the business community regard with dismay.
In response to a query from the Business Journal, ReBA CEO Joe Raso said simply that “The organization could not come to consensus on the endorsement of a candidate in District 1.”
ReBA endorsed Angela Dougan in District 2, Keith King in D-3, Deborah Hendrix in D-4, Bernie Herpin in D-5, and David Moore in D-6. The organization’s choices paralleled those of the Housing and Building Association, except in D-5 where the HBA endorsed Al Loma.
Hendrix, Dougan and Moore may have solidified their positions as favorites in their races by being endorsed by both organizations, but the races in D-3 and D-5 remain highly competitive.
In an email today, D-3 candidate Jim Bensberg touted an impressive list of supporters, including El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, former councilmember Jerry Heimlicher, and the Colorado Springs Utilities Emploee Advocacy Group.
Maketa gave Bensberg a nice blurb, saying that “Jim’s common sense approach, leadership and dedication to our community was demonstrated consistently while he served on the Board of County Commissioners.”
In the hotly contested D-5 race, Jill Gaebler’s website listed an equally impressive lineup, including Suzi Bach, Richard Skorman, Cari Shaffer, Trevor Dierdorff, Jane Young, and Carolyn Cathey. It’s an interesting list, showcasing Gaebler’s ability to draw support across the political spectrum, although both ReBA and the HBA passed her over in favor of Herpin and Loma, both veteran elected officials.
Loma may have other problems to worry about, since recall petitions have been taken out by individuals seeking to remove him and five of his colleagues from the District 11 School Board. At this point, it’s difficult to assess whether the recall attempt will substantially damage his council prospects, but it certainly won’t help him. Such are the perils of making tough decisions while in elected office.
To what extent does support from prominent organizations and individuals translate into the “mother’s milk of politics” – money? Updated financial reports from all council candidates are due today, although none had been filed on the City Clerk’s website as of a few minutes ago. We’ll post a complete analysis after all the reports are in.