Cleveland wins final Vail Town Council seat | VailDaily.com

Cleveland wins final Vail Town Council seat

Dick Cleveland

How they voted

Kim Langmaid: 624

Jen Mason: 463

Kevin Foley: 440

Dick Cleveland: 410

Ludwig Kurz: 406

Doe Browning: 288

Mark Christie: 259

Town of Vail certified election results as of Nov. 12.

VAIL — Elections here are usually decided quickly — sometimes as soon as just a couple of hours after the polls close at 7 p.m. This year was different.

This year, candidates Dick Cleveland and Ludwig Kurz, both vying for the fourth and final available Vail Town Council seat in this year’s election, had to wait more than a week — and the arrival of late ballots from overseas residents and those on active military duty — to learn their electoral fate. That delay gave Cleveland the fourth council seat and a two-year term.

On election night, Nov. 3, Kurz and Cleveland ended the evening tied for the fourth seat with 406 votes each. A Nov. 4 review found a damaged ballot that hadn’t yet been counted. That single ballot gave Cleveland a one-vote edge.

Out of the 55 ballots that were sent to those overseas and military voters, only a handful were returned. Cleveland picked up another three votes in the final count to finish with 410. Kurz’s vote total remained at its election-night level of 406.

With the wait over, Cleveland said he’s excited to get back to work with the council.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Cleveland said. “I feel bad for (Kurz) — he’s a good friend and I wish this had come against somebody else.”

Like the totals for fourth and fifth place, the other vote tallies didn’t change much.

MEET THE COUNCIL

Kim Langmaid, who finished election night in first place with 624 votes, also picked up another three votes, as did second-place finisher Jen Mason, who finished with 463. Kevin Foley remained the third finisher, with an additional two votes bringing his total to 440. Doe Browning, who came sixth in the seven-candidate field picked up a single vote to finish with 288. Mark Christie’s total didn’t change. He finished seventh with 259 votes.

The Vail Town Council that convenes Tuesday will have four new members. Two, Langmaid and Mason, haven’t served before. Foley and Cleveland have previously been on the council. Foley waited the minimum time required between terms. He had served eight years, between 2005 and 2013, and was ineligible to run again. He waited two years, and then took another run for office. Cleveland had last served in 2005, when he decided not to seek another term.

The new council will choose a new mayor. Former Mayor Andy Daly is ineligible to run again due to term limit requirements. The same is true for former council member Margaret Rogers. Dale Bugby, who earned the two-year term in 2013, declined to run for re-election.

CAMPAIGN SPENDING

The winners of council terms this year took different approaches to campaign spending.

Foley, who was third in voting this year, couldn’t have purchased a large latte with what he spent on his council run — $3.64, according to town records.

Meanwhile, Browning, a relative newcomer to the town’s public life, spent more than $5,000 of her own money on her council run. She finished sixth out of seven candidates.

Kurz spent the next-largest amount — just more than $3,700. Kurz received $3,900 in contributions from 10 donors, all longtime town residents.

Langmaid was third in campaign spending this year, with just less than $1,800 in expenses, and eight donors — again, all longtime residents. Those donations added up to more than $3,000, including $1,500 from Langmaid and her father, Charlie.

Like other candidates, Langmaid bought yard signs and newspaper ads, but she also spent more than $1,000 on post card and stamps.

Mason also received contributions from several longtime Vail residents, raising nearly $1,900 and spending $1,440.

Mason’s spending included signs and stickers, of course, as well as about $80 for candy and bags.

Cleveland also spent his own money, according to town records, spending nearly $1,150 on a combination of yard signs, business cards and newspaper ads.

Of the candidates besides Foley, Christie spent the least — about $425, which went to yard signs and a voter list. Christie, another newcomer to Vail civic life, came last in the balloting.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com and @scottnmiller.