by Pam Zubeck
The Colorado Springs City Council district that covers the southwest portion of the city, including downtown, figures to be one of the liveliest of the six in the April 2 city election.
Incumbent Brandy Williams, elected to a two-year at-large seat in 2011, has decided to take on two seasoned politicians: former state Sen. Keith King and former El Paso County Commissioner Jim Bensberg.
And she will try to play her relative newness as a strength, judging from the news release she issued Saturday.
"I am not a career politician moving between positions, attempting to remain relevant in political circles," she writes, an obvious swipe at both King, who served in the state House for eight years and the Senate for four, and Bensberg, who served as commissioner for eight years.
"I ran [in 2011] because I saw a need for common sense leadership in our City, and I am running again because this need remains," she writes.
But Williams hasn't lived in the district very long. She admits that she moved from the central part of the city to Strawberry Fields Grove off of Cheyenne Meadows Road sometime in the last 20 months.
King announced his candidacy last week on the steps of City Hall, while Bensberg plans his announcement for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Penrose Library Carnegie Reading Room.
Bensberg has already filed a campaign finance report showing he's raised $850 and loaned his campaign $1,000. The other two haven't filed reports yet.
Williams, a Springs native like Bensberg, is a professional engineer and Rampart High grad. Noting in her announcement she's the "youngest woman ever elected" to the Council, she says she served on the Memorial Health System Task Force that led to a 40-year lease of the city-owned hospital to a Denver-based health agency.
She also served on the Council's oil and gas task force, which started holding meetings about a year ago. The Council has yet to finalize rules for drilling within the city limits.
By virtue of her Council seat, she also is a member of Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments board, and, she says, "was instrumental in allocating funding for the widening of I-25 from the North Academy exit to the El Paso County/Douglas County border."
"I look forward to continued service, and relish the opportunity to be your advocate. I will continue to focus on public safety, a robust economy, a vibrant downtown, maintaining our unique open space and community parks and being a voice for common sense," her news release says.
The District 3 seat is now held by Lisa Czelatdko, who hasn't announced a re-election bid.