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- Ladies and gentlemen, your first strong mayor.
Commercial real estate broker Steve Bach secured an easy victory Tuesday night in the race to become Colorado Springs' first strong mayor.
It was all but over as soon as City Clerk Kathryn Young released the first batch of numbers around 7:10 p.m. With 52,515 votes at that point, as compared to Richard Skorman's 39,424, Bach extinguished any hope that Skorman might have attached to the few thousand last-minute ballots still to be counted. Later results basically cemented the percentages, with Bach around 57 percent and Skorman around 43 percent.
At Mr. Biggs, a Republican favorite for election night parties, the 68-year-old Bach was introduced to The Temptations' "Get Ready" and gave an acceptance speech in which he promised to "work hard every day to be the best mayor we've ever had." It was a classically political event, complete with many of Bach's family members on stage with him, and a drop of red, white and blue balloons.
You'd never know that the "politician" in the race was the guy who'd actually forgotten to take his opponent's phone number to his own election night party. Skorman, the 58-year-old, Independent former City Councilor and small businessman, was ready to call Bach with congratulations and a concession after the first round of numbers was released, but couldn't do it because he didn't have Bach's number on him.
Eventually, he did connect with Bach, and then addressed his supporters at the Antlers Hilton. "Let's hope our new mayor will become a good strong mayor," he said. "Let's give him a chance."
Both candidates were interviewed by KVOR-AM 740. Of note from those interviews: Bach said he hoped that within 60 to 90 days, there'd be some measurable results from his "totally open and transparent" mayorship. Skorman, when asked whether he might run again in the future, said, "Probably not. At this point, I'd like to get back to my easy life of quiet and not so much pressure."
Bach will take office June 7.
Reporting by Ralph Routon and J. Adrian Stanley.