Cortez makes his mayoral bid official in Carbondale |

Cortez makes his mayoral bid official in Carbondale

Ed Cortez

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Second-term Carbondale Trustee Ed Cortez made it official Wednesday that he will seek the open mayor’s seat in the April 6 town council elections.

“I believe that I’m ready to go to the next level after having been in politics now for 12 years,” Cortez said. “I believe that we have a lot of work to do, and I’m going to focus my campaign on a strength of experience, leadership and a common sense approach to problem solving.”

Cortez is in the middle of his second four-year term on the town council. He spent six years as an appointed member of the Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission prior to that.

He becomes the second sitting trustee to declare for mayor, following last week’s announcement by Trustee Stacey Patch Bernot.

Incumbent Mayor Michael Hassig is up against term limits after two consecutive four-year terms, and cannot run for re-election.

Tuesday was the first day candidates could pick up nomination packets for mayor, as well as for three trustee seats that will also be up for election on April 6.

As of Wednesday, only incumbent trustees Frosty Merriott and John Foulkrod had picked up packets to run for trustee, according to town clerk Cathy Derby.

Cortez and Patch Bernot were so far the only mayoral candidates to pick up nominating petitions. Candidates have until 5 p.m., March 5 to collect the required 25 signatures from registered town voters and turn in their petitions.

“I want to stress that I will continue to champion the issues that set Carbondale apart from other communities,” Cortez said, citing affordable housing, renewable energy, nonprofit organizations, senior programs and transportation among those issues.

“However, the key issue facing us today is to have some assurance of an economic future,” he said. “Our success and prosperity hinges on our ability to discuss and go forward with an economic development plan that meets the needs of all of our citizens.”

Cortez owns and operates a contracting business specializing in solar and renewable energy installations.

Bernot, in announcing her intentions last week, commented, “I feel like there’s a need for some consistency on the board … I bring an institutional knowledge, not just on board matters, but from having grown up in Carbondale.”

Bernot is a fifth-generation Carbondale native. She and her husband, Mike, own and operate a local landscaping business and have two school-aged children.

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