Bernot wins Carbondale mayor’s race
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Stacey Patch Bernot will become Carbondale’s new mayor, winning big in Tuesday’s election over fellow town trustee and mayoral contender Ed Cortez.
The win for Bernot was bittersweet, however, after word came Tuesday that Cortez had been in the hospital for the past two days after he reportedly suffered a heart attack on Sunday.
Cortez was back home recovering Tuesday and was not available for comment.
Bernot said the election was secondary to her concern for her fellow board member.
“We’ve been praying for him all day, and wish him the best,” she said after learning of the election results.
Bernot won the four-year mayoral term with 686 votes to 174 for Cortez, according to unofficial final results.
Cortez, who like Bernot has been on the town board for the past six years as a trustee, will retain his board seat and has another two years remaining in his term.
“It’s a nice reassurance that I’m doing the right thing in my role as trustee, and I will continue that as mayor,” Bernot said. “I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback in the last few weeks.”
Three trustee seats were also decided in Tuesday’s election, although the races were uncontested. Incumbents John Foulkrod and Frosty Merriott will keep their seats for another four years, and joining the town board will be newly elected trustee Elizabeth Murphy.
Bernot, 32, is a fifth-generation Carbondale native who was raised by Paul and Celia Nieslanik after both her parents died when she was young, her father in the 1981 Mid-Continent coal mine explosion, and her mother and sister in a 1986 car accident.
She replaces outgoing mayor Michael Hassig, who was term limited after eight years in office and could not run again.
“I think we have a great board, and a lot of us have the same passions even if we don’t always agree on things,” Bernot said.
She will take the gavel at the April 13 Carbondale Board of Trustees meeting, and Murphy will be sworn in as well along with Merriott and Foulkrod. A farewell reception for Hassig is also planned for that evening.
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