City election about to launch


Just as several newly elected candidates on the state and county level take office this month, another election cycle begins with the filing period for Colorado Springs city offices opens on Wednesday.

According to the city's news release:
Mayor and City Council candidates for the April 7, 2015 General Municipal election can begin to circulate nominating petitions. Elected positions on the April ballot will include Mayor, three At-Large City Council seats and the remaining term of the vacated District 2 City Council seat.

Candidate filing documents and nominating petitions will be available beginning Wednesday, January 7, 2015. They can be picked up in the City Clerk’s Office (30 South Nevada Avenue, Suite 10), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Petitions must be returned to the City Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

The City Clerk and the City Attorney's Office will be conducting a Candidate Training Session from 9 -10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 in City Council Chambers at City Hall (107 N. Nevada Avenue). Training topics will include candidate filing, general election information and campaign finance law. The training will be streamed live at and posted on the City Clerk’s website following the meeting. 
Candidates who are seeking the mayor's post include, in alphabetical order: El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen, former Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace, former City Councilor Joel Miller and Attorney General John Suthers.

Those who say they'll run for one of three at-large Council positions are:

Tom Strand issued this release:
Strand: Lots of community service
  • Strand: Lots of community service
I am a retired Air Force JAG (Military lawyer) Officer. I began my career at Peterson Field in 1975, and returned to Colorado Springs in 2005 to help my wife (a teacher) run her small business helping students that struggle with mathematics.

Since returning home, I have volunteered with a number of Committees, Councils and Commissions. I served on the District 11 Citizen's Bond Review Committee, and was later elected to the District 11 Board of Education (2007-2011), where I served as Vice President and President. I am presently the Secretary on the Global Village Academy Charter School Board — a K-7th Grade Language immersion school and pre-school.

I volunteer as a business Mentor with the Colorado Springs Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) assisting small business get a better beginning for the past 8 years, and serve as their new member recruiter. I am the Treasurer for the Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC), working to build and maintain parks, trails and the wilderness areas for all users. I serve on the Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission as Vice President, dedicated to eradicating discrimination in housing, employment and public transportation. I am a Board member with the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council which works with healing the harm caused to victims and the community by offenders. I am a facilitator for the Food 4 Thought organization currently working on a project to help our citizens struggling with mental health problems.

I am a recent widow (2013), and was blessed to be married to my college sweetheart for 41 years. Together, we raised a daughter and son who have brightened our lives with five beautiful grandchildren. I currently reside in our home in Old Colorado City and enjoy spending leisure time backpacking, camping, hiking, and biking. I also love fishing and playing golf in our beautiful outdoors.

Strand's recently filed campaign finance report shows he's raised $2,025, of which $2,000 was a contribution to his own campaign.

Isaiah Hess issued this news release on Dec. 10:
Hess: Long-time resident
  • Hess: Long-time resident
Today, Isaiah Hess announced his campaign for Colorado Springs City Council. He is a candidate for one of the three at-large seats that represent the entire city.

“I’ve lived and worked in this city since I was three years old,” Hess said, “and that has given me a great love for Colorado Springs’ past, and a passion for our city’s future.”

He believes that the ultimate goal of government should be to empower individuals by supporting freedom and unobtrusive, efficient government. “Good government does not begin in Washington, DC or in Denver,” Hess stated, “but rather, it begins at home, where decision-makers can be close to the people that they serve. And no where is this more the case than in city government.”

Responding to the question of why he is running, Hess replied that he “wants to serve his fellow residents of Colorado Springs by ensuring a more free place to live and work and a transparent local government that preserves choice and prosperity for residents.”
Hess has raised $1,795, of which $1,000 is a loan he made to his campaign.

An opening in District 2 due to Miller's resignation in November is being sought by political activist Kanda Calef. She issued this release today:
Calef: Well-known activist
  • Calef: Well-known activist
After years of local involvement trying to bring back common sense government to Colorado Springs, Kanda Calef has decided that it’s time to make the leap and be the person voting on behalf of citizens, instead of pleading for politicians to do what’s right.

A sixth-generation Coloradoan, Calef believes that the people of Colorado Springs are exceptional in skills and talents and they need a responsible government to remove restrictive regulations and taxes to allow them to prosper.

Calef believes our current Council and Mayor spend excessive amounts of time and money meddling with the economy and have taken their attention away from citizens’ real concerns: low electric rates, streets being paved, parks being watered, and adequate police and fire protection. Calef says she will continue to be an advocate for the citizens of Colorado Springs.

“It is not government’s role to create jobs,” states Calef. “I believe in the entrepreneurial instinct of our residents as the real job creator and will not get in the way of bright, innovative people that want to build and create! With a responsible government, Prosperity is Within Our Reach.”

Understanding that households and businesses in the area have been hit hard by the sluggish economy in recent years, Calef, now more than ever, sees the need to put as many dollars as possible back into the pockets of residents to put food on the table, pay for heating bills, apply to college funds, or invest in business growth.

Calef has been advocating for her belief in the future possibilities for Colorado Springs for years.

“I’ve known Kanda for a long time and I see her as someone that is honest, forthright, and data-driven. She has already been fighting for us as a private citizen and I am confident that as a member of City Council, she will make sound decisions to best represent us,” says Shane Sandridge, a local small business owner from Council District 2.

Other concerned residents are excited for her entry into the race.

“I see Kanda at our kids’ sporting events and she is so knowledgeable about the goings-on of local government and issues we face. She is an intelligent, engaged woman that loves this city and wants the best future possible for her kids,” says Heidi Zeiner, a local nurse and mom who lives in Council District 2.
Calef has not filed a campaign finance report as of today.

At-large incumbent Val Snider says he'll run, and it's likely incumbent Merv Bennett will also run. Jan Martin is prevented by term limits from seeking a third term.

Larry Bagley, appointed to fill Miller's unexpired term representing District 2, says he'll run for the post.

Mayor Steve Bach will not run for a second term, he announced recently.

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