PUEBLO – The results for the Pueblo Mayoral election are unchanged after a final county Thursday morning.
Candidates Nick Gradisar and Steve Nawrocki hold the lead. Both candidates 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.
But the candidates excited for the opportunity to share the spotlight with just one other candidate.
“When it was narrowed down to 16, it still was a daunting task to try to get your message out but now there will be just two individuals,” said Nawrocki.
“It’s going to be great for the voters once it’s down to two candidates because they’ll be able to listen to the candidates articulate their positions,” added Gradisar.
Part of their strategy is to get more volunteers and supporters from other candidates on board.
“[We’re] trying to pick up supporters from some of the other candidates that didn’t make it,” explained Gradisar.
“Hopefully the people that support other candidates, that they’ll see reflected in me values that they saw in other candidates,” said Nawrocki.
And due to the major holidays leading up to the run-off, they’re easing off the heavy campaigning so voters don’t get overwhelmed.
“I’m fatigued,” said Nawrocki.
“And so for sure the voters must be and i think right now people are thinking about their families, they’re thinking about the holidays.”
But come January, voters should expect to see a lot more ads and outreach efforts to jog their memory.
“Our efforts are going to be trying to encourage everyone that has voted and those that didn’t get a chance to vote to come out,” Nawrocki noted.
“Hoping it’ll be a big turnout and that people will get engaged,” Gradisar said, optimistically.
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 was wide, with 16 people who are current city council members, former council members, business owners and community activists.
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.
The results today are still pending certification by canvass board.