Durango residents interested in running for City Council in April still have time to dive into the growing candidate pool.
Three of five seats are up for grabs during the April 6 election – one that has the potential to shift the majority on split votes. Already nine people have added their names to the list of potential candidates. Five have completed the first step: gathering 25 verifiable signatures of support.
If any other Durangoans feel like jumping into the fray, the signature gathering deadline is 3 p.m. Feb. 9.
“They still have time to come in and get a packet from the City Clerk’s Office, circulate their petition and get it back to us,” said Durango City Clerk Amy Phillips.
The top vote-getting candidates will serve a four-year term, which starts in late April.
Candidates must be 18 years old or older by election day, a registered elector and a resident of Durango for one year before April 6. The candidate can also be a resident of a territory recently annexed into Durango.
The three seats will open when councilors Dean Brookie, Chris Bettin and Melissa Youssef end their terms this spring. Brookie, who is term-limited, cannot be re-elected, and Bettin does not plan to seek re-election. Youssef plans to run for another term.
To appear on the April 6 ballot, candidates must submit a nomination petition, which must include 25 signatures from registered electors who live in the city of Durango. Nominating petitions can be obtained at the City Clerk’s Office, 949 East Second Ave.
Of nine potential candidates, staff members still need to receive and approve petitions for four people: Olivier Bosmans, Frank Lockwood, Jennifer Macho-Seekins and Victoria Mordan.
City staff members have vetted and approved petitions for Jessika Buell, Seth Furtney, Lisa McCorry, Harrison Wendt and Youssef.
Council contenders so farThe city will not deem any candidates “official” until after Feb. 12, the deadline to withdraw from the race. Drawing for placement on the ballot will take place Feb. 16 in a Zoom meeting.
Of the five candidates who have completed the first step, none had any intentions to withdraw, they said Tuesday.
Buell, 39, said she is an entrepreneur who owns three Durango businesses and has lived in the city for 19 years. The mother of two has co-founded the Professional Women’s Network of Durango and was named 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year through the Durango Chamber of Commerce, she said.
Furtney, 55, has worked as a commercial property owner and manager for Snowy River Investments LLC. A Durango resident since 2003, Furtney said he has become involved with Durango Trails and serves on the Durango Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
McCorry is a 41-year-old landscaper with Bare Hands Landscape Maintenance in Durango. She said she is involved with La Plata Showing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ, and the Durango School District 9-R subcommittee on culture and equity engagement.
Wendt, 23, said he moved to Durango in 2017. He works as a youth camp coordinator with Durango 9-R’s after-school enrichment program and has been involved with the Southwest Movement for Black Lives, he said.
Youssef, 55, joined City Council in 2017 and served as mayor from April 2019 to April 2020. She is the council liaison for the Strategy and Long-term Finance Committee and the Creative Economy Commission. She has also served as a council representative on the La Plata Economic Development Alliance Board.