PUEBLO – The long ballot for the first mayor of Pueblo in generations will result in a runoff with no candidate earning a clear lead in the race.
As of November 15th, Candidates Nick Gradisar and Steve Nawrocki will face off in a runoff election scheduled for January 22nd. But the election won’t come cheap as about 70,000 ballots will go out on January 2nd, each costing $1.49. That comes out to $104,300.
And because Pueblo’s mayoral race will be the only item on the ballot, taxpayers will foot the bill.
Pueblo County Mayor – (39,013 total ballots returned)
|Gary Lee Clark||1,575||3.82%|
|Larry S. Fancher||645||1.56%|
|Z. Marie Martinez||620||1.50%|
During an interview with News5 this summer, 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 .
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.
Just last year voters approved the “Strong Mayor” initiative to change the city’s form of government from council-manager to mayor-council. The field of candidates for the $150,000 a year job is wide, with 16 people who are current city council members, former council members, business owners and community activists.