Kurz withdraws from Vail council race
VAIL ” Former Mayor Ludwig Kurz withdrew his candidacy for Vail Town Council Thursday evening after the town of Vail found it had made a mistake in verifying his eligibility.
A term-limit provision in the Colorado Constitution, which overrides the Vail town charter, says a town council candidate who has served two consecutive terms must be out of office for four years before re-entering office. The provision took effect in 1995.
The Vail town charter only says a council member can serve no more than eight consecutive years.
Kurz left council in February 2004 due to term limits. He became a councilman in February 1996 to fill a mid-term vacancy on the council.
He said he was disappointed to find out about the oversight.
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“By the same token, I’m glad that it came down now rather than after the election,” he said.
The finding was made Thursday after Vail Chamber and Business Association Executive Director Kaye Ferry passed on an unsolicited e-mail that she received about the provision to Town Attorney Matt Mire.
Ferry said she was only a messenger, and she would have passed it on regardless of the candidate involved.
Town Manager Stan Zemler apologized to Kurz for the error.
“We accept full responsibility for failing to research Ludwig’s eligibility,” he said.
Kurz served as mayor from 1999-2002. He is also ineligible for the 2007 election. He will become eligible again 2008, but the next election after that will be in 2009.
Ten candidates, including Kurz, filed petitions for candidacy Oct. 6, and all 10 were placed on the ballot. Kurz’s withdrawal leaves nine candidates running for four seats in the Nov. 8 election.
Kurz will still appear on the ballot along with the nine other candidates. It is too late to print replacement ballots, said Vail spokeswoman Suzanne Silverthorn.
Election judges will notify each voter of Kurz’s withdrawal when voters come to the polls on Election Day Nov. 8. Anyone who takes part in early voting and absentee ballot voting will also be notified.
The town will contact the approximately 120 people who have already received absentee ballots to inform them of the change.
People who have already submitted absentee ballots or have participated in early voting will not be able to recast their ballots. As of Thursday, 42 ballots had already been cast through early voting or absentee voting.
Kurz doesn’t have any ill will against the town of its oversight, he said.
“I’m sad about it and disappointed, but I don’t hold any grudges,” he said.
It’s too early to say if he’ll run again when he’s eligible in 2009, but said he’ll stay involved in Vail government, he said. “I’ll be around,” he said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 604, or email@example.com.