Mayoral candidate Brian Bahr is well on his way to making the 2011 race the most expensive in Colorado Springs history.
Bahr, who owns Challenger Homes, announced Wednesday that he plowed $100,000 of his money into his campaign and that he’s prepared to cough up another $100,000.
That’s more money than the late Ted Eastburn spent on his failed 2003 run, which set a record for a mayoral contest with nearly $150,000 in contributions, including a $25,000 loan from Eastburn.
Bahr, 39, said the $100,000 he deposited didn’t come from an inheritance or a lobbying group but was earned through smart choices and hard work.
Bahr filed papers to run for mayor in July but formally announced his candidacy Wednesday on the steps of City Hall with his wife of 16 years, Heather, by his side. He promised to match contributions to his campaign “dollar for dollar” up to another $100,000.
“This isn’t about me. This is about Colorado Springs,” he said in an interview.
“It’s going to take an investment. I’m willing to invest that time and my resources in order to make this happen,” Bahr said.
Bahr said he’s not trying to buy the job that now pays $6,250-a-year.
“I won’t be beholden to special interests and others might be,” he said.
Under a November ballot proposal for a strong-mayor form of government, the mayor would be paid about $96,000 a year.
So far, it’s a three-man race for mayor. Defense contractor Buddy Gilmore and neighborhood activist Dave Munger have also announced their candidacy.
Medical marijuana may be a top issue in the April election.
Bahr said he would support asking voters whether medical marijuana businesses should be banned from the city.
“We have a lot of dispensaries and grow operations that have already been created in our community,” he said.
“I personally didn’t vote for the amendment to make medical marijuana legal, and yet our citizens should have a right to speak out against it.”
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