The list of candidates vying for the seat of City Council Richard Skorman in January is long and includes a few well-known community leaders such as Sallie Clark, Terry Martinez and Promise Lee.
Skorman was re-elected in April to represent District 3, the city’s southwest sector, but is stepping down in December to focus on his downtown businesses, including a restaurant, cafe and bookstore. Skorman – who was in office from 1999 to 2006 and then again from 2017 – is one of four council members who tend to favor more progressive politics, despite the fact that the positions are non-partisan.
The Council will appoint his successor from a list of around 25 applicants. The council expects to reduce the group based on the written applications due Tuesday and then interview the finalists, said Alex Ryden, a council spokesman.
One of the most famous candidates is Clark, who was most recently appointed director of rural development for Colorado at the US Department of Agriculture by former President Donald Trump. She also served on the city council from 2001 to 2003 and then served as Commissioner for El Paso County for 12 years.
Lee is the Senior Pastor of the Relevant Word Christian Cultural Center, an author and church leader who was active during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year. His book – “Pardoned” – describes how he shot and killed a boy in 1974, his time in prison, his Christian ministry and his work in crime prevention, so the book summary.
He ran the Hillside Neighborhood Association – a group that successfully reduced violent and property crime in the area – worked on affordable housing and promoted small businesses.
Martinez, former principal of Will Rogers Elementary School, has made several forays into politics, running for city council and a seat in the state. He is currently a member of the city’s Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission, a body recently formed to address concerns raised during the Black Lives Matter protests.
Williams, an engineer, is a former Colorado Springs councilor who served on the Pike Peak Area Council of Governments and the Fountain Creek Watershed District.
Toby Gannet, an executive with experience on community boards, is another prominent name. In 2018, he was named Global Practice Chairman of Board and CEO Services for N2Growth, a Philadelphia-based consulting and executive search firm, the Gazette reported. He was also President and CEO of BCR Management, a consulting firm based in Colorado Springs, for seven years. He was also Partner and CEO of Palisades Senior Housing for four years and Partner and Vice President of Dunn and Associates for 12 years. His leadership experience in the community includes serving on the boards of the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corp and Silver Key Senior Services.
Two city council candidates who ran for Skorman’s seat in April are also running – Arthur Glynn, a former Navy Emergency Response Liaison Officer, and Olivia Lupia, a performing artist and proofreader.