Troxell wins third mayoral term, women win all open council seats

Samantha Ye and Ravyn Cullor

Unofficial results for the 2019 Fort Collins local election were released around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night. Official results will be released April 12. 

Mayor

WINNER: Wade Troxell: 73.78% (21869 votes)
Michael Pruznick: 26.22% (7770 votes)

Wade Troxell won his third term as mayor of Fort Collins by a vote margin of over 14,000 votes. (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Wade Troxell will be finishing out his final term as Fort Collins mayor. Voters overwhelmingly re-elected the incumbent by 73.78% of the vote, against competitor Michael Pruznick. 

Ad

Having served on City Council for 12 years, Troxell has worked on many of the changes the City had undergone and in his final years on Council, will be taking on several more. These include rolling out municipal broadband, adopting policies for affordable housing (such as right-sizing instead of U+2) and moving the City closer to its carbon neutral goals established in the Climate Action Plan.

Read more about his platform in The Collegian’s past coverage

Neither Troxel nor Pruznick could not be reached for comment on election night.

Ballot Issues

Results
Keep Fort Collins Great Tax: Passed by 61.3% (19823 votes)
City Council Full Time Pay: Rejected by 58.5% (18218 votes)

The Keep Fort Collins Great Tax will be sticking around as voters said yes to renewing this 0.085% dedicated sales tax and making most of it permanent. It costs 85 cents for every $100 spent. 

The entire tax was previously set to expire in 2020, but now only 0.025% of it will expire in 2030, unless voters renew it. 

The tax funds basic City services, mainly street repair and transportation, police and fire fighting services, and parks and recreation. It brought in over $31 million in 2018 and is expected to bring in $34 million in 2021.

A portion of the renewed tax, as dictated by the ballot initiative, will go specifically toward the Poudre Fire Authority. Otherwise, it will not be much different from the KFCG tax of the last 10 years.

City Council, too, will not be changing from a monetary standpoint. Voters declined the citizen initiative to make City Council a full-time paid position with benefits with 58.5% no vote.

Councilmembers will continue to make $815 a month, adjusted for inflation, and the mayor will make $1,224 a month. Additional work costs are compensated, but current councilmembers have said they think of it more as a stipend.

The initiative was an attempt to raise the council wage to the area median income of roughly $60,000 a year. The intention was to make running for Council more feasible for those on low incomes, give councilmembers more time and proper compensation to do their City work, and require transparency of their activities.

Ad

District Seats

District 1
WINNER: Susan Gutowsky: 46.95% (2588 votes)
Glenn Haas: 31.3% (1725 votes)
Joe Somodi: 21.75% (1199 votes)

City Council woman Susan Gutowsky won her re-election bid for the District 1 seat. (Gaby Arregoces | Collegian)

Susan Gutowsky retained the District 1 seat after being appointed in January. Gutowsky took the seat of Bob Overbeck after he was elected to County Assessor in 2018. She also worked in Poudre School District for 28 years prior to her political work. She won with 46.95% of the vote for her district, followed by Glenn Haas with 31.30% and Joe Somodi with 21.75%, as of election night. 

Gutowsky couldn’t be reached for comment on election night. Read more about her positions in The Collegian’s past coverage.

District 2
WINNER: Julie Pignataro: 40.99% (2598 votes)
Noah Hutchison: 40.52% 2568 votes)
Adam Eggleston: 10.02% (635 votes)
Susan Holmes: 8.47% (537 votes)

Rising from the most crowded and expensive race of the season is Julie Pignataro who will be representing District 2 for the next two years, as of the election results around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night. 

Pignataro and Noah Hutchinson were only separated by 30 votes as of the release of results, and the winner may change when official results are released on April 12. These two leading candidates were caught in outsider spending sprees for their campaign which poured over $50,000 into the District 2 race, according to The Coloradoan.

Pignataro’s platform was based on smart growth, which addresses the issues of the City and interconnected problems. She is for affordable housing and protecting the environment. Read more about her positions in The Collegian’s past coverage.

“I had an amazing team and we knew this was going to be a pretty tough race,” Pignataro said. “But we stuck with our plan by talking to members of this district and it will hopefully continue to pay off.”

District 4: Kristin Stephens: 100% (4135 votes)

Councilwoman speaks in ASCSU Senate Chambers
Councilwoman Stephens speaks to the ASCSU Women’s Caucus about issues women face in government, and her own path to City Council. Stephens won her unopposed re-election bid for the District 4 seat in the April election. (Vinny Del Conte | Collegian)

Kristin Stephens won her unopposed race in District 4. This will be her final term on City Council. Before the appointment of Susan Gutowsky, Stephens was the only woman on Council. She also works in the statistics department at Colorado State University.

Stephens says she hopes to continue the work she has done for affordable housing and environmental issues in her final term. Read more about her positions in The Collegian’s past coverage

“My election was uncontested, so it wasn’t a big surprise tonight, but I still ran a campaign like I wanted to, and I’m happy to serve for four more years,” Stephens said.

District 6
WINNER: Emily Gorgol: 48.71% (2095 votes)
Fred Kirsch: 25.97% (1117 votes)
Lori Brunswig: 25.32% (1089 votes)

Emily Gorgol won the Fort Collins District 6 councilmember seat by nearly 50 percent of the vote. (Julia Trowbridge | The Collegian)

Emily Gorgol will be representing District 6 which encompasses Campus West and most neighborhoods north of Colorado State University. She won with 48.71% of the vote, which was nearly double what her opponents, Fred Kirsch and Lori Brunswig, received. 

Gorgol ran on a platform of bringing new perspectives to City Council. She hopes to push for more aggressive options for affordable housing and take a regional approach to the issue overall. Transportation and the environment will also be within her top priorities.

She also hopes to incorporate a wide variety of resident voices and bring in more citizen perspectives to Council, something she believes the City could be doing more of. Read more about her positions in The Collegian’s past coverage.

Gorgol could not be reached for comment on election night.

Samantha Ye and Ravyn Cullor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.