COLORADO SPRINGS – Unofficial results from the city elections office show John Suthers will serve as Mayor of Colorado Springs for the next 4 years.
As of the second round of results released at 9:15 p.m., Suthers has 73% of the vote. Three candidates challenged incumbent Mayor John Suthers as he sought a second term.
During his victory speech, Suthers told supporters, “I want to thank the citizens of Colorado Springs for their continued confidence in my leadership abilities.”
City elections officials will continue to release numbers throughout the evening. Right now there is a 32% voter turnout.
News5’s Jessica Barreto sat down with Mayor Suthers ahead of the election to hear his pitch for why voters should back him for another four years in office.
“The issues that I said we would tackle, we’ve tackled. Yes, we have challenges. We have to deal with homelessness, affordable housing.. I want to bring home all the projects that are underway,” says Suthers.
He’s looking forward to continuing efforts to repave a total 700 miles of road in the city, including 200 miles yet to be completed. Suthers credits his administration for creating an environment that’s brought in 28,000 jobs to the city, plus has the foresight to bring the Olympic museum to fruition.
Suthers says having the right workforce, affordability in the cost of living and taxes is important to growing the jobs base in Colorado Springs, something he’s worked to address since taking office.
During this campaign, the mayor was opposed to the ballot issue that asked viewers to approve or decline allowing collective bargaining by members of the Colorado Springs Fire Department. “It is a slippery slope. You can’t in fairness then deny it to police officers, utility linemen, city foresters,” says Suthers.
Suthers told News5 he’s concerned about the impact of the chronically homeless, specifically, people who suffer from mental illness or drug and alcohol addiction, have upon city facilities, parks, and services. Suthers says he and the city council owes it to the people to aggressively enforce existing ordinances to address the problem.
On the issue of affordable housing, Suthers wants to continue working with developers to ensure they are taking advantage of tax breaks in order to create more affordable housing, along with working alongside non-profits to find other solutions.
Suthers says he has confidence in city utilities to find new sources of energy to replace the loss of power distribution from the anticipated closure of the Martin Drake Power Plant in the coming decade.
As for allowing the sale of retail marijuana in the city, he still supports the decision not to allow these sales and believes the voters are also against the idea. “I think our citizens are fed up with the home grow problems, the black market, and I think they’ve turned against recreational marijuana.”