UPDATE: Pueblo’s first mayoral race is drawing more takers
Author: Dan Njegomir - March 2, 2018 - Updated: March 2, 2018
Never mind, for the moment, how Pueblo got along all these years without a mayor. What Hot Sheet would like to know is how the Steel City’s local news outlets were able to go generations without a dog-eat-dog mayoral race to cover; a mayoral scandal to titillate the public — or a mayor to blame when the snow didn’t get plowed on time.
Of course, it’s all academic now following Puebloans’ vote last November to restore the mayor’s post to City Hall. They even threw in a full-time salary and a job description to match. His / Her Honor — who’ll be elected this coming November — will serve as the bona fide chief executive, taking on much of the day-to-day control of city operations now wielded by the city manager (whose job will be eliminated).
It’s what they call a “strong mayor” form of local government — the kind implemented long ago in Denver and adopted by voters in Colorado Springs in 2010.
Given the substantial nature of the job, it’s probably no surprise a number of people can see themselves in that high-backed leather chair in City Hall’s big corner office. (That’s figuratively speaking; we actually don’t know where the new mayor will sit.) Puebloans are starting to line up for a chance to take the helm of municipal government.
And thanks to the Pueblo Chieftain’s Ryan Severance and Peter Roper, who’ve been tracking and tallying the hats as they’re tossed into the ring, we know there are five so far who have announced they’ll seek the office:
- Former Pueblo City Council President Steven Nawrocki.
- Nick Gradisar, the prominent Pueblo attorney who led the campaign to re-establish the mayor’s post.
- Jackie Massey, a retired college debate coach who moved to Pueblo last year.
- Janet Wilson, an East Side Pueblo activist, banker and financial planner.
- Russell Martinez, a boiler maker by trade who has worked on some prominent local projects.
If none of those happen to trip your trigger, sit tight because our guess is more candidates will emerge. Stay tuned.