Updated: July 6, 2010 at 12:00 am
Commercial real estate broker Tim Leigh has dropped out of the race for Colorado Springs mayor but is considering running for an at-large City Council seat.
Leigh, who announced his mayoral bid in February, said the city “desperately needs” a mayor “who can make a singular, full-time commitment,” which he said he can’t do.
“I’ve been told that I’m a very good Realtor/businessman, and I think I’d be a very good mayor,” Leigh said Monday in his weekly newsletter.
“The problem is, unless I want to lower my standard and become mediocre at both, I have to pick one,” he said. “And at this juncture, I’m choosing to stick with what I know.”
Leigh’s decision comes amid efforts to ask voters in November to switch Colorado Springs to a strong-mayor form of government, with the mayor working full-time as the city’s chief executive.
The two candidates still in the race are defense contractor Buddy Gilmore and Dave Munger, president of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations. Gilmore was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, which he said may force him to pull out.
Leigh, 54, said in an interview Tuesday that even campaigning was a full-time job.
“So then to think that you could actually go down and be a part-time mayor is nothing short of absolute lunacy,” he said. “There is no way this city could function with a part-time mayor.”
Leigh, who has owned commercial real estate firm Hoff & Leigh since 1987, said the campaign was also affecting him financially.
“My business is not as robust as it used to be and couldn’t support me in a manner I need to be supported, to be honest with you, unless I’m here attending to it,” he said. “I just don’t have the financial luxury of going downtown to be a full-time mayor on my dime.”
Leigh’s campaign got off to a bumpy start.
Days after filing papers to run for mayor, Leigh resigned from the Citizens’ Commission on Ownership and Governance of Memorial Health System under pressure after revelations that his wife works at Memorial.
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