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Republican group: Mayor says he will not seek second term; Bach remains undecided

August 6, 2014 Updated: August 7, 2014 at 8:33 am
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photo - Mayor Steve Bach, right, listens to a question from Raven Martinez, left, after a public meeting on Feb. 18. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette
Mayor Steve Bach, right, listens to a question from Raven Martinez, left, after a public meeting on Feb. 18. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette 

Mayor Steve Bach told a group of Republicans at a Wednesday breakfast meeting that he was not going to seek a second term as mayor. But Bach said later that day that he has not made a decision on whether he will run for a second term in 2015.

An item posted on Champions for the People Facebook page early Wednesday afternoon said Bach had "announced to a group of citizens today that he will not run for mayor again."

Not true, said Kim Melchor, city spokeswoman. "He has not made a decision."

Bach met Wednesday with the El Paso County Republican Strategy Forum at the group's weekly breakfast meeting, where they get together and chew over local politics. Bach was invited to answer questions on a variety of topics. When asked if he would run for re-election, Bach said he told the group, "It's awfully hard to think about that as frustrating as things are right now."

Bach said he most likely gave the group the impression that he was not going to run.

"I said, I'm 99 percent sure it's something I don't want to do again," Bach told The Gazette Wednesday afternoon. "It was the heat of the moment."

About 20 people were at the meeting, said city council woman Helen Collins. She said Bach was emphatic about not running again.

"He said he wasn't going to run," Collins said. "He talked about his age and that the controversy was getting to him."

Some members of the group asked Bach to run again, Collins said. Others began tossing out names, including Collins', as a candidate for mayor.

Bach was elected in a runoff election in May 2011 to a four-year-term and became the city's first strong mayor under the new form of council-mayor government, which voters approved in 2010.

Bach, 71, had previously suggested that he was not interested in a second term. But in February, Bach told The Gazette that he wanted to continue working on three major issues: jobs, the health of the Colorado Springs Airport and the City for Champions project. At that time, Bach said he was considering a run for a second term in 2015.

"I do want to see City for Champions through," Bach said at that time.

He added that the four proposed projects must be fully financially vetted before moving forward. Bach said then that he was not ready to fully commit to a run for a second four-year term. The past three years have been tumultuous as the legislative and executive branches have worked to define their roles in the new form of government.

Bach and the City Council have tussled over the City Attorney and whether the City Council should have its own attorney. They have disagreed on budget issues, and Bach recently vetoed a set of ordinances that would have eliminated most business license fees. The City Council rejected Bach's proposal to waive school and park fees for downtown residential developers. And in recent weeks, Bach and the City Council have been at odds over the contract details of a proposed stormwater authority.

"I have to think it through," Bach said Wednesday. "Are we going to be effective, including me? I have made some decisions that have not made people happy. I need to decide, am I the best person? Can we be effective?"

Bach said that he will make a final decision about running for re-election in the next couple of months.

In May, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, 62, said he was considering a run for mayor. He also said he would decide by September.

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Contact Monica Mendoza: 636-0187

Twitter @Mendo1987

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