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Candidate profiles: 16 candidates running for Pueblo mayor

PUEBLO – Pueblo voters face a long list of candidates vying to be the first mayor of the Steel City in generations.

Just last year voters approved the “Strong Mayor” initiative to change the city’s form of government from council-manager to mayor-council.  A similar initiative failed in 2009.

Whoever wins the election will have a lot of challenges ahead of them. The yearly salary for the job is $150,000.

A total of 16 candidates are running for the position, and News5 talked with 15 of those candidates to determine their positions on important issues facing the city and how they would use their new position as mayor to help solve problems facing the community.

We also asked how they would work with city council to accomplish their goals and how they’d set the precedent for future mayors of Pueblo.

Election Day is Nov. 6, 2018. The candidates appear in this story in the order they will appear on your ballot.


Larry Atencio

Larry Atencio
Larry Atencio, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

In an interview with News5, Atencio touted his 33 years of experience as a private business owner and his experience teaching at Pueblo Community College and CSU Pueblo for 20 years. He also currently teaches high school in Pueblo City Schools. He’ also counting on his experience as a city councilman,  “On top of that, I have about seven or eight years of political experience, which makes a big difference because I have the experience to do the job,” Atencio said.

He served on council from 2007 to 2011 and is in the middle of a second term, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Atencio identified the opioid epidemic, homelessness and crime as issues affecting Pueblo, but the main issue he plans to tackle is what he describes as a “structural deficit” in the city’s budget. Atencio said the city laid off 100 city employees during the recession, hurting the quality of service provided to the community. “You take a 700 man workforce and lay off 100 of them guess what’s going to happen to the services you provide to the city? They’re going to deteriorate like crazy,” Atencio said. “One of the biggest things that we should take a look at is how we fill that hole in the budget to bring our workforce back up to speed so we can provide the services Pueblans deserve.”

How would you solve those problems?

Atencio said he doesn’t want voters to approve more sales tax initiatives to solve the city’s problems. “We can’t keep doing that and expect our constituents to be okay with a half-cent sales tax on every little issue, Atencio said. “We’re going to have to find a good permanent solution to fund our city government.”

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Atencio cited his experience working with other members of city council to attract capital projects to Pueblo.  “I had to work with other council members to gain their confidence that we were doing the right thing at the right time for the right amount of money. I’ve been able to do that.”


Gary Lee Clark

Gary Lee Clark
Gary Lee Clark, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Clark, age 56, said his experience in the U.S. Army and working with the Department of Justice qualify him for the office of mayor. He retired in 2015.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

During our conversation, Clark focused primarily on improving Pueblo’s economy and working to make the city’s streets safer.

How would you solve those problems?

“The economics is one problem,” Clark said. “One thing I would do with the economics is to have incentives for small start-up businesses, have incentives for businesses to attract nationally, locally, surrounding areas and globally.”

Clark said he would focus on providing tax incentives to businesses “for a certain amount of time” to convince business owners that Pueblo has a lower cost of living and an educated workforce.

Clark also said he would work with the current Pueblo Chief of Police Troy Davenport and he would like to implement a gang task force. He said Pueblo can learn from other cities to see how they’re working to decrease gang activity.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Mr. Clark said he will depend on the department heads and the city council members to help him if he’s elected.

“I’m not the expert, but I have 30 experts. There’s the circle of seven, the seven councilmen that have experience. They have knowledge about how the city has been running,” Clark said. “Then we have the other 23 departments. What I would like to do is sit down with them at the roundtable, have an equal, neutral conversation, find out what’s been going on. See what we can correct, see what we can make better, come to an agreeable solution.”


Tom Croshal

Tom Croshal
Tom Croshal, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Croshal worked as a small business owner in Pueblo and is now retired. He said his experience running a business has prepared him to be Pueblo’s mayor.

“You need the tools, and I think I have those tools. There will be some learning, some on the job learning. I think for the most part the principles are the same. It’s just on a larger scale.”

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Croshal said Pueblo’s largest problem is the city’s perceived image from others in the state of Colorado and the rest of the country. Croshal also said Pueblo lacks a diverse economy and said the city’s crime rate is too high.

How would you solve those problems?

Croshal said he would look to an outside contractor to help attract better jobs to Pueblo. Croshal said Pueblo’s economy relies too heavily on call centers and manufacturing jobs and said there’s little appeal for young educated people to stay in Pueblo.

“We have an economic development company here in Pueblo, but I don’t think they do a very good job. So one of the things I would do would be looking to outsource that to firms that small businesses hire. I would go that route.”

Croshal also said he would advocate for Pueblo to receive a spaceport designation, similar to the Front Range Airport near DIA.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Mr. Croshal said he will work to develop the trust and acceptance of Pueblo residents if he becomes mayor. He said he would serve as a strong leader and stand by his decisions if he’s elected.

“We’ve had city council and a city manager and a city council president, but no true firm leader,” Croshal said. “That’s probably what I would need to do is just establish that fact that now we have a mayor, now we have a leader we do have a go-to person. The buck stops here. ”


Larry Fancher

Larry Fancher
Larry Fancher, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Larry Fancher ran for city council seats multiple times, most recently in 2015. He’s a retired teacher from District 70. Fancher said he’s involved in city government and frequently attends Pueblo City Council meetings.

Fancher said one reason why he’s running is that he opposes how the position of mayor was created.

“I sure wouldn’t have pulled this kind of a cheap trick that these people pulled, so that’s why I’m running. I think I’m more qualified than them because I’m not a liar and I’m not going to go against the will of the people,” Fancher said.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Fancher was outspoken about issues affecting Pueblo as well as actions from city leaders. He said most Pueblo mayoral candidates have not focused on two “ghetto” areas of Pueblo, the east side of Pueblo and the Bessemer neighborhood.  He said homelessness, drug use, car thefts, prostitution and other crimes are ” symptoms of a disease and the disease is the neglect by these elected officials.”

“In the lower-income areas, I’m talking about 75 percent of the people rent, which means these people never build equity,” Fancher said. “The money always leaves the community. In the census, data showed it is basically economic, ethnic concentration camps.”

He called the sales tax for street improvements regressive and said much of the tax money in the city has benefitted downtown improvement and left other areas neglected.

How would you solve those problems?

Fancher proposes using the half-cent economic development tax for improvements to infrastructure. He claims many of the economic and socioeconomic problems in Pueblo are tied to neglect and misdirection from elected officials.

“I don’t think you can trust these people as far as you can spit,” Fancher said.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

“People have asked me that question, ‘you have to work with these people and you’re putting them down.’ I go ‘I’m not putting them down, I’m describing them,'” Fancher said. “The kind of people I have little respect for, and they don’t respect for me because I’m always coming forward to them and pointing out the things they’re smoothing over and they’re leaving out the details on. They would have to work with me because I have a very big mouth and I would use it and I would get the citizens together.”


Dennis Flores

Dennis Flores
Dennis Flores, Pueblo mayoral candidate.

What makes you qualified for the job?

Flores described himself as the most qualified candidate running. Flores is currently an at-large member of the Pueblo City Council. Prior to that,  Flores said he worked in property and casualty insurance for decades.  He served on the Pueblo School District’s Board of Directors from 1993 to 2001. He was also appointed to the Colorado State Universtiy Board of Governors and served as treasurer of the system.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Outside of establishing a working city government structure, Flores mentioned that safety and reducing crime will be his first priority. He also mentioned opioid use in the community and infrastructure problems as other priorities he would want to tackle.

How would you solve those problems?

Flores said he supported adding more officers to the police department and also supports police using drones. Flores said he would work with Chief of Police Troy Davenport and the rest of the police department as well. When it comes to opioids, Flores said he wants to focus his energy on going after dealers and distributors of the illegal drugs.

“My background in risk management really lends itself to making sure our officers are protected, that they have the right equipment, so we’ll be tackling lots of issues,” Flores said.

He also mentioned creating a new city department devoted to auditing contracts and other departments within the city government to increase accountability.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Flores said the biggest challenge Pueblo will face immediately after a mayor is sworn in is the change in the structure of the government, “If you set up a system where the city council and the mayor are butting heads, that’s not going to be good for the community, it’s going to be disastrous,” Flores said.

Flores said he would establish a deputy mayor position and meet with all of the department heads to establish a working relationship.

“I’m not a micromanager,” Flores said. “I’m going to give them the leeway to establish goals and then I would establish a strong evaluation system.”


Nick Gradisar

Nick Gradisar
Nick Gradisar, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Nick Gradisar cited his experience working in community and government organizations as reasons why he should be mayor. Gradisar served on the Pueblo Board of Water Works for 14 years, the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce Board from 1998 to 2002 and as the Pueblo County Public Trustee for a combined total of 17 years. He’s also worked as a lawyer as a partner in the Pueblo-based firm Gradisar, Trechter, Ripperger & Roth.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Gradisar cited a lack of growth and economic development as the causes of poverty and homelessness in the Steel City. He also mentioned the opioid crisis as a problem Pueblo would have to solve, but he didn’t attribute that problem to a lack of economic activity.

How would you solve those problems?

Gradisar said he would work to boost economic development in the region. “I think if we can do that then these other problems will go by the wayside.”

Gradisar also said he thinks homelessness can be helped with a better local economy. “We can expect people are homeless because they don’t have work,” Gradisar said. “If we increase economic activity, there would be jobs available for them.”

He also said he thinks the opioid problem should be treated “like a medical problem, not a criminal problem.” He also mentioned trying to get money from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers to fund ways to fight the problem.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Mr. Gradisar was one of the biggest supporters for the creation of the strong mayor position, and he said his experience working with council to get the question on the ballot shows that he can accomplish his goals.

When it comes to setting an example for future mayors, Gradisar said he would, “represent Pueblo, not only in Pueblo but in Colorado Springs, Denver, Washington D.C.” He also added that, if elected, he would have a political base that would help him succeed in the position.


Ted Lopez

Ted Lopez
Ted Lopez, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Ted Lopez described his experience working as a manager and engineer for CF&I Steel, Exxon International Company as well as R&K International. Lopez also served on city council from 2000 to 2003. He said his time on council showed him how a city government operates.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Lopez mentioned cleaning up properties around the city, improving infrastructure in the older parts of Pueblo and setting up a better trash and recycling collection system would be some of his main priorities as mayor.

How would you solve those problems?

“There’s been a lot of investment in time and resources spent on certain parts of town, but not enough in the older parts of town,” Lopez said. Mr. Lopez said he wants to direct the half-cent sales tax used for economic development and instead devote it to improvements to older neighborhoods.

Lopez also said he wants all city employees to be public servants for Pueblo.

“City employees need to realize that they’re public servants and that they shouldn’t be just knowledgeable in their area, but the city as a whole,” Lopez said.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Mr. Lopez said his prior experience on council taught him how to work with others and understand the group dynamic to accomplish his goals.

“On city council, it takes four votes to be successful on an issue, we’re not always successful on things that we want to get done but finding out who is favorable to my position and who I need to work on in order to get them to look favorably to my position. ”

Lopez also said he would interact with the county commissioners to accomplish larger goals.  “It’s just a matter of communicating with people, learning from them, trying to convince them that we have to work as a team for the betterment of the community as a whole.”


Alexander Lucero-Mugatu

Despite multiple attempts by News 5 over several weeks to reach Lucero-Mugatu, he did not agree to be interviewed.


Z. Marie Martinez

Z. Marie Martinez
Z. Marie Martinez, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Z. Marie Martinez said her experience working as a volunteer to help those who are disabled, veterans and people struggling with addiction makes her a good candidate for the office. She also mentioned her experience investing and helping run a bail bonds business in southern Colorado.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Martinez said Pueblo needs a “really thorough cleaning and a lot of repairs.” She also said there are issues with drugs and alcohol abuse within the city.

How would you solve those problems?

Ms. Martinez said she has worked in the prison systems in Colorado and Tennessee where she gained experience working with people addicted to alcohol and drugs.

“I know some people, and I think I would be a strong person to confront the issue more than some other people have done,” Martinez said.

“I would encourage our church leaders throughout this entire community to get involved. I would encourage them to help with the issues that Pueblo has,” Martinez said. “I would also encourage the previous politicians that were doing their jobs for the city and the taxpayers of Pueblo I would encourage them to help out.”

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

When it comes to working with city council, she said she’s willing to work with them, but admitted that she doesn’t know all of the members personally.

“Whether they’re all workable or not, I don’t know,” Martinez said. “I know one of them in particular since 2002 and he’s an outstanding person in my opinion. The others I don’t know them personally, but I would consider getting to know them.”

When it comes to setting a precedent for the office, Martinez said she would be a servant leader and hope that other elected officials follow her lead.

“I don’t only talk about what I think needs to be done. I help people individually. I don’t just select some from a particular area of town, I just help people wherever I can help people.”


Steve Nawrocki

Steve Nawrocki
Steve Nawrocki, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Steve Nawrocki served on the Pueblo City Council for eight years and was president of the council multiple times. He is the CEO of the Senior Resources Development Agency, a non-profit organization based in Pueblo. Nawrocki also cited his relationships with elected officials in Denver and Washington D.C. as a way to bring in extra funding for city projects.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Nawrocki mentioned that he thinks the city needs to be rebranded. He also mentioned that he wants more construction, more jobs, better schools and more small business creation in Pueblo.

How would you solve those problems?

“When it comes to rebranding the city, I’ve been working for two years to rebrand Pueblo as ‘the gateway to the southwest’,” Nawrocki said.

As part of that plan, Nawrocki wants to install two 60-foot tall pieces of monument art on a bridge on the north side of Pueblo above I-25,  welcoming people to the southwest United States. Nawrocki said Pueblo’s topography and its history make the city a good spot to welcome visitors to the southwest U.S.

Nawrocki said he would establish four different advisement groups to the mayor within 45 days in office. Those four groups would focus on education, community housing, health and public safety.  He also said he wants to create a 3-day summit to bring in people from the community to help create a 5-year plan for the city.

“I think it’s important that when the new mayor starts up it has a lot of citizen input right from the beginning. A lot of that would involve those four, permanent standing advisory committees.”

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades

Mr. Nawrocki said there needs to be a collaborative effort between the mayor’s office and the city council. Nawrocki also said he would model his relationship with the city council similarly to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

“It really showed in terms of being able to pass two tax issues, which is unheard of in Colorado Springs, for infrastructure and stormwater. ”

Nawrocki said communication is the key to being a successful mayor.


Chris Nicoll

Chris Nicoll
Chris Nicoll, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Nicoll has served on the Pueblo City Council for the last six years and he is the current city council president. Nicoll also works in cybersecurity, which is an area of Pueblo’s economy he wants to grow.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Nicoll said he thinks Pueblo has lacked economic and population growth compared to other cities along the Front Range.

“You can go back as far as the ’50s, we have almost the same population, whereas the rest of the state has completely changed,” Nicoll said. “We have to turn that around and the way to do that is with economic development and giving people a reason to be able to stay here and earn a living.”

How would you solve those problems?

Nicoll said he would like to see the city of Pueblo attract jobs in growing industries to improve the community. He specifically mentioned working to attract technology companies, alternative energy companies and healthcare organizations to Pueblo.

“Healthcare is going to keep on growing and we can take advantage of that, especially for people of retirement age,” Nicoll said. “Baby boomers, and developing a place for people to retire in Pueblo because we have so much sunshine. But we have to capitalize on those trends we know are going to be successful.”

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Mr. Nicoll said Pueblo’s mayor, “needs to be a strong leader” and needs to have a plan for his or her first year in office. He said he wants to work in every department his first year in office to make sure he understands the function of all levels of city government. When it comes to working with the city council, he said consistent communication between council and the mayor’s office is critical to his success.

“I want to have recurring meetings with the city council members and city council leadership to make sure we have good communication,” Nicoll said. “Having served on city council for six years, I know the current council, I know the process.”

Nicoll also said he helped organize the transition from the current city manager form of government to the mayoral form of government and his election would ensure a smooth transition of power.


Charlotte Perez

Charlotte Perez
Charlotte Perez, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Perez said her experience working with the community, registering people to vote and campaigning for ballot issues qualifies her to be Pueblo mayor. She specifically mentioned her efforts to work with people in gangs, homeless people and young people.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Perez said the biggest issues Pueblo faces are gang violence, the opioid epidemic and education. Perez said the underlining cause of those problems is mental health.

How would you solve those problems?

Perez said she wants the mayor to be hands-on in solving those problems.

“I don’t believe we need another person just sitting behind a desk talking about it and writing about it. We’re going to need someone who’s going to be out there that has a positive influence and impact on people.”

Perez also mentioned she would like to require city councilmembers and the mayor to be involved in the community.

“The reason why we’re having these issues within the city council and why we need a mayor is because these elected officials are completely disengaged with the community,” Perez said. “I feel that they’re making serious decisions about issues that they don’t know about firsthand.”

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Ms. Perez said she wants to set an example for future mayors by being hands-on in solving problems. Perez said she would work with elected officials on the state level if elected as well.

When it comes to working with city council she said her relationships with council members would help her if she’s elected.

“The elected officials know about me from my life efforts in the community,” Perez said. “So they all respect me and some of them love me.”


Randy Thurston

Randy Thurston
Randy Thurston, Pueblo mayoral candidate.

What makes you qualified for the job?

Randy Thurston ran his own real estate business for 40 years in Pueblo and was born and raised in the Steel City. He served on the Pueblo City Council from 2001 until 2009 and served as city council president in 2004.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Thurston specifically mentioned that he thinks Pueblo has not grown responsibly and has missed out on the population boom other Front Range cities are experiencing. Thurston also mentioned that Pueblo has problems with crime, drugs and infrastructure. Thurston said there are deep divisions in the community that are holding Pueblo back.

“It has union vs. non-union, Republican vs. Democrat,” Thurston said. “We’re always fighting and battling internally and we’re not really growing and reaching our potential. As a result, we’ve been in a community where the prosperity has bypassed us.”

How would you solve those problems?

Thurston said he wants to be a proactive leader who unifies the community to represent all people living Pueblo. He also said he wants to be sure those who break the law are punished and held accountable for their actions.

When it comes to infrastructure, Thurston said he thinks the mayor should make roads a priority in a way that past city managers have not.

“We have money in the budget,” Thurston said. “But a lot of decisions that have been made monetarily as far as our priorities might not have been best because of the agenda of the city manager.”

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Mr. Thurston said he doesn’t worry about working with city council because they both serve the same constituents and if they’re serving their community, they should share a common direction.

“I’m not concerned about city council handcuffing or taking power away as long as we all work for the greater good and the betterment of the city of Pueblo,” Thurston said.

Thurston said transparency in government would be an important priority for him if he were elected mayor.

“Because all of these issues we’re dealing with, it needs to be discussed in the public domain. Not in back rooms where people find out about it when they open up the paper and learn this is what happened,” Thurston said.


Jody Voss

Jody Voss
Jody Voss, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Voss said her experience running a small business and working with levels of government as a business owner has prepared her to take office.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Voss said the biggest problem in Pueblo is a lack of wealth. “As I’m walking neighborhoods and going to the forums, people are saying they want better streets, better jobs, a better animal shelter, more parks, more access to art,” Voss said. “That all equates to more money.”

Voss said it’s important that in the course of building wealth that “we don’t leave anyone behind”  and include Pueblo residents who are in vulnerable positions.

How would you solve those problems?

Voss said she wants to draw in businesses and help them grow in a more creative way to bring people to Pueblo and build that wealth in the community. “I want to focus on the growth of small business,” Voss said. “I want to be more creative in how we recruit businesses.”

Voss said she wants to evaluate city codes and streamline the city government to be more responsive. She also mentioned providing businesses tax incentives and treating relationships between the government and local businesses as partnerships.

She also said she wants local schools to continue offering vocational options to students to expand the city’s blue-collar workforce.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Ms. Voss said when it comes to working with the city council, “It’s a partnership, not a dictatorship.” Voss said communication and transparency with the council and citizens would be her primary objectives when it comes to working with the city council.

She said she wants to stay in touch with Pueblo citizens as she moves into the role of mayor, “I want to build a citizens cabinet with contacts throughout the neighborhood so that I can stay in touch with the citizenry,” Voss said.

She also wants to communicate with state representatives and business leaders along the Front Range. She also mentioned building partnerships with other cities in the southeast part of the state.


Janet Wilson

Janet Wilson
Janet Wilson, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Janet Wilson said she thinks fresh ideas are needed in Pueblo. Wilson previously worked as a bank manager, financial planner and now works with a clean energy company.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Wilson said she believes there is a lack of accountability in the city government, specifically with the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO). Wilson also said she thinks some city departments could run more efficiently and that the city could be more cooperative with businesses.

Wilson said infrastructure, blight, homelessness, crime and drug use are some of the other problems in Pueblo.

How would you solve those problems?

Wilson called for auditing PEDCO and increasing transparency in the organization. “I would really analyze whether PEDCO is working for us,” Wilson said. “Maybe it was good in the 80s, but I don’t know that it is good now.”

Wilson said she wants the city to look at solving the city’s problems creatively and using the Pueblo’s affordable housing as a way to solve these problems. “They hired 27 cadets to go to the academy we’re paying but we don’t see them for four months,” Wilson said. “So why don’t we do a national program and offer free housing,  something we have an abundance of, and get them to transfer fully ready cops who are ready to go?”

Wilson also mentioned making small improvements to parks and adding signage around the city to make it more inviting.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades? 

Wilson said she would follow examples set by other mayors in other cities as a possible roadmap to Pueblo’s success.  She said she would set an example by having a vision, having a plan and executing it with creative ideas.

When working with city council, she said she’s counting on the citizens of Pueblo to convince city council members to work with her.

“I think the people will pretty quickly understand that if there’s resistance, and the people say, ‘hey why aren’t we doing that?’ maybe they’ll start voting in the people that will help the mayor instead of hinder (the mayor). ”


Lori Winner

Lori Winner
Lori Winner, Pueblo mayoral candidate

What makes you qualified for the job?

Lori Winner previously served a two-year term on the Pueblo City Council. She said her efforts in grassroots campaigning to add more police officers and to fix blighted homes provided political experience to help solve problems.

What are the biggest issues Pueblo faces?

Winner highlighted blight and crime as two of the issues most important to her.  Winner also said Pueblo’s schools have become a problem.

How would you solve those problems?

Winner focused much of our interview discussing solutions to solving blight in the city, “Whenever you have blight, you have crime,” Winner said.

She discussed the idea of bringing a “blight tax” to Pueblo and mentioned that some cities have set that tax as high as 10 percent.

“Say you’ve got a building assessed for $1 million and then you throw a 10 percent blight tax on top of that, It gets their attention.” Winner said. “So they either take action and bring the property up to code and sell it, or they open a business in it or they’re motivated to do something rather than just let it sit there.”

Winner said she’s already helped to fight crime by campaigning for ballot issue 2B, which passed last November,  to hire more police officers in Pueblo.

How would you work with council and set the precedent as the first mayor of Pueblo in decades?

Winner said the mayor serves as the leader of the city, “You need to identify the problem, find out why that problem exists, remove those barriers for why those problems aren’t being solved,” Winner said.

She also said she would listen to recommendations from city staff and communicate about ways to solve issues in the city with councilmembers.


Learn more about the candidates and issues on the ballot this November by visiting News5’s Election Watch page.

There you’ll find all of the ballot information for statewide races, El Paso County, Pueblo County, Fremont County, Custer County, Crowley County, Baca County, Bent County, Huerfano County, Prowers County and Otero County.

KOAA News5 also partnered with the Citizens Project to bring El Paso County and Colorado Springs a forum with local candidates and on the ballot initiatives.  Candidate Forum Issues Forum

Local Clerk & Recorder offices will start mailing out ballots on Monday, October 15th. You have until October 29th to submit a voter registration application and still receive a ballot in the mail. If you miss that deadline, you can still submit an application at a Voter Service and Polling Center up to the day of the general election.

You may have already received the Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) which provides voters with the text, title, and a fair and impartial analysis of each initiated or referred constitutional amendment, law, or question on the ballot.

Tom Kackley

Tom Kackley

Tom Kackley is a digital content producer at KOAA News 5. He has worked in southern Colorado since 2016.
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