Election night is all said and done. The winners have sipped their champagne and the losers have thanked their supporters. Throughout the area, we had some surprising council shifts and also expected victories. Plus, Boulder County voted down purchasing open space for the first time in decades.
Longmont—while maybe not too surprising but definitely in contrast to last election—saw a major partisan flip flop (whoever says municipal politics isn’t partisan has never been to Longmont) with fewer than 17,000 residents voting. The liberal alliance on council, which has garnered criticism from many conservatives and bloggers, lost its queen bee when incumbent Karen Benker was beat out by Katie Witt, an up-and-coming republican who unsuccessfully ran for state senate last year. Incumbent Gabe Santos, the oft outsider on the current council who was voted in during a special election in early 2008, will now be joined by Alex Sammoury, an enthusiastic business and community leader who put Twin Peaks Mall redevelopment at the top of his priorities for the coming years. Bryan Baum beat out incumbent Roger Lange after telling this reporter and others that he could not think of one thing council had done recently that made him proud to be a resident. In running, he was looking to bring a new kind of leadership to council. But his election will not just mean new leadership, it could mean a U-turn in focus.
For Longmont, it will be incredibly interesting to see how this election impacts the Firestone land disputes and lawsuits. Many of those newly elected councilors focused in their platforms on the needlessness of the litigation… Though, only time and the blogosphere will tell. Speaking of which, the Longmont Advocate, a conservative blog that has probably been second only to the Longmont Times Call as the rain on council’s parade, is jumping for joy at the election results. “All-America Longmont is jumping for joy tonight as Baum, Santos, Witt, and Sammoury overwhelmingly win council seats! A return to responsible city government is at hand!”
I say, congrats to the winners. Make the best of it.