The votes have been counted, and the sky is not falling after all. The way this year’s election campaigns have tried to position things, you’d think the world as we know it was about to end in Colorado Springs!
The truth is, it will probably feel a lot more like “business as usual”. While the governor’s race was somewhat of a foregone conclusion (the Republican candidate Dan Maes had a major resume’ malfunction just after the primaries), the senate race was more of a nail biter. In the end, nothing really changed. El Paso County remains pretty strongly Republican, but the state will have a Democratic governor (John Hickenlooper, a well respected businessman) for the next 4 years, and another Democratic Senator, Michael Bennett.
Locally, the ballot initiatives will result in Colorado Springs going to a “strong mayor” form of government, and this may or may not really change much. Many were not very happy with the last city manager that the city council had hired, and most cities the size of Colorado Springs have a strong mayor. There were quite a few tax related issues that were defeated, both for raising taxes as well as lowering them. The implication is that most people felt like this was not a good time to mess with taxes in Colorado Springs. Apparently most people felt that taxes are high enough, but not so high as to warrant forcing a major downsizing of local government.
In the next major election, the economy will hopefully be a little healthier, and it will be interesting to see who steps up to run for office. This year was kind of a yawner in that regard.