The commissioner set his sights lower in 2018 when he tried to unseat Rep. Doug Lamborn in the primary, but the candidacy of state Sen. Owen Hill made it difficult for either challenger to establish himself as the congressman’s main foe: Lamborn went on to beat Glenn 52-20, with Hill just behind with 18%. There was some brief speculation last cycle that Glenn could seek a rematch with Bennet, but he instead announced in December of 2021 that he’d run for mayor.
Williams, for his part, is a longtime local politician who won a promotion from El Paso County clerk to secretary of state during the 2014 red wave by beating Democratic foe Joe Neguse 47-45. (Neguse now represents the Boulder area in Congress.) Things didn’t go so well for the Republican four years later during a very different political climate, however: Jena Griswold unseated Williams 53-45, a result that made her the first Democrat to win this post since Dwight Eisenhower was president in 1958.
Williams quickly resurrected his career the next year by winning a citywide seat on the City Council, and he launched a mayoral bid in 2022. However, he earned some grief from his own party in the leadup to the fall elections when he starred in an ad with Griswold where the two former rivals told viewers that the state’s “elections are safe and secure” but that “voters should be alert to election disinformation.” Williams, who was backing Pam Anderson’s unsuccessful bid to unseat Griswold, went on to call for the secretary of state to take the ads off TV.
One of the Republicans who trashed Williams is El Paso County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez, a mayoral rival who accused the city councilmember of lying when he said he didn’t know the spots would appear on TV. Another notable name is Sallie Clark, unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 1999 and 2003 and who later served in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Trump administration.
The field also includes City Council President Tom Strand, a former Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton even after he changed his party registration to Republican. Strand also briefly took part in the 2018 primary against Lamborn but dropped out; Strand, who called himself a “sort of moderate in my views,” said at the time he’d be changing his voter registration again to independent, though it’s not clear how he identifies now.
Another contender is businessman Yemi Mobolade, a “political independent” who, like Glenn, would be the first African American elected to lead Colorado Springs. (The late Leon Young served as interim mayor in 1997.) Former information technology consultant Andrew Dalby, who calls himself an “anti-corruption” candidate,” and four others will be on the ballot as well, while one more has until Friday to cure problems with his petitions. In the likely event that no one wins a majority, the top-two vote-getters will compete in the May 16 general election.
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