The Political Action Committee of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs (HBA PAC) has been working the last several months to identify visionary leaders for the April 7, 2015 city elections. After first meeting with three strong candidates for Mayor, the HBA PAC made the decision to endorse former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
“It is unusual to have so many well-qualified candidates, with so many years of experience and successful service to the region,” according to Kyle Campbell, HBA PAC Chairman. “However, the opportunity to have John Suthers continue his public career in his hometown of Colorado Springs by moving from Colorado Attorney General to Mayor of Colorado Springs was judged to be an important opportunity for the City and the HBA PAC made the decision to endorse Mr. Suthers for Mayor.”
Suthers’ governmental background, insights into City issues, executive experience managing the Attorney General’s office, and agenda for the City and its staff were cited as some of the strengths which were persuasive to the committee and contributed to the endorsement.
In addition to the Mayor’s race, three at-large seats will be selected for City Council, along with an election in District #2. Colorado Springs will have four of the nine City Council positions decided this April. Members of the HBA PAC have invested many volunteer hours meeting with potential candidates in what is being considered an extremely important election for the community.
Candidates were evaluated based on a number of criteria, including their service to the Colorado Springs community, knowledge of City government, and demonstrated leadership to the community, as well as their background, availability to devote to public service, and ability to field an effective campaign.
Among the number of impressive candidates this election cycle, four received the HBA PAC endorsement. The three candidates running at large are Merv Bennett, Tom Strand, and Jariah Walker.
Merv Bennett has served Colorado Springs as a non-profit leader with the YMCA, as President Pro Tem of City Council, and as Chairman of the Colorado Springs Utilities Board of Directors. Bennett has also been an advocate for free enterprise and private property rights. In addition to his experience, Bennett’s reputation for working with all sides to find common ground and his commitment to the city government stakeholder process brought him a strong endorsement from the HBA PAC.
Tom Strand is another proven leader for Colorado Springs who served as a legal officer in the United States Air force and as a member and President of the District 11 School Board. The HBA PAC was impressed with his desire to continue his public service by seeking a position on the Colorado Springs City Council. Strand’s education, experience leading an elected board during a number of difficult decisions, long history in the community, and approach to City issues made him another clear choice for an endorsement from the HBA PAC.
Jariah Walker is the third endorsement for an at-large seat on the Colorado Springs City Council. Walker has substantial experience in the real estate industry and a firm grasp of the issues faced by the building and development industries. His community service credentials, success as a young professional, family history in Colorado Springs, and passion and vision for the City were persuasive to the interview committee, who believes Walker’s leadership and ideas would bring an important perspective to City government.
In District #2, the HBA PAC endorsed Larry Bagley. Bagley was recently appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council and is now running to represent the District for the remainder of the term. In an overwhelmingly military district of Colorado Springs, Bagley’s Air Force Academy and military experience play a significant role in representing District #2. Before becoming involved with the City Council vacancy, Bagley contributed his time to his local home owner’s association and Council of Neighborhoods and Organizations. As a newcomer to City Council, Bagley has proven himself to be a thoughtful leader on City issues and has shown a willingness to be an advocate for all of Colorado Springs and his District.
Stay updated with the 2015 Election Coverage from the HBA PAC.