PUEBLO, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Pueblo is getting its first mayor in decades. Ballots in Tuesday’s runoff mayoral election were still being counted but there aren’t expected to be enough votes to erase the lead of attorney Nick Gradisar.
Pueblo has had a city council and city manager form of government. The Pueblo Chieftain reports that Gradisar led the charge to switch back to a mayoral form of government in 2017.
Sixteen people competed to become the city’s mayor in the November election but none got enough of the vote to win, forcing the runoff election.
“I think the rest of the state has been waiting for us to do this for a long time, to put someone in charge down here,” Gradisar told CBS4 partner KKTV. ” I really didn’t see myself becoming the strong mayor when I pushed for that change, but I felt the change was necessary as I said before to put someone in charge of Pueblo.”
Gradisar is expected to be the first strong mayor of Pueblo once the results are considered official. The five-year term runs through Jan. 16, 2024. The race started with 16 candidates and was narrowed down to two after the November elections.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)