Durango residents will vote in three new city councilors today, bringing to a close an election season that will be remembered for low voter turnout, low fundraising totals and little acrimony among the four candidates.The candidates - Paul Broderick, Doug Lyon, Christina Rinderle Thompson and Aaron Tucson - had collectively raised $9,335 as of Friday's financial reporting deadline. In the last council election of 2007, candidate Sidny Zink alone raised more than twice that amount and three of the other eight candidates that year raised more than this year's total.
Thompson - who, as the first candidate to declare, began her campaign in early February - has raised $4,635, with a largest single contribution of $350. Lyon is next at $3,075, and he has made good on a campaign promise to not accept a donation of more than $100 from a business or couple and $50 from any individual. Broderick made the same pledge and has raised $950. Tucson's total is $625.
The final campaign finance reports are due May 7.
Voter turnout remained low Monday, with 2,625 ballots cast from a possible 9,260, or 28 percent. The figure is less than half of 2007's final turnout of 58 percent and the lowest since Durango elections became mail-in only in 2003.
City Clerk Amy Phillips said there are still a number of ballots that were mailed without signatures and cannot be counted, but even if completed, it will not affect the turnout statistics significantly, she said. Polls will be open for walk-in voting today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tonight also marks the final meeting for Councilor Scott Graham and Mayor Renee Parsons and possibly for Lyon if he is not re-elected today. Graham and Parsons announced last month they would not seek re-election.
Results of today's election will be posted on The Durango Herald's Web site tonight when they become available. The new councilors will be sworn in at the regular City Council meeting April 21.