Kaup, Godes top balloting for Glenwood Springs City Council seats | PostIndependent.com

Kaup, Godes top balloting for Glenwood Springs City Council seats

Shelley Kaup spends the evening with friends, family and supporters at Rivers Restaurant waiting for City Council at-large results on Tuesday night.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

Glenwood springs election results

City Council At-Large

Shelley Kaup – 811

Charlie Willman – 724

Jonathan Gorst – 211

Rick Davis – 198

City Council Ward 5

Jonathan Godes – 272

Amber Wissing – 124

Don “Hooner” Gillespie – 53

City Council Ward 2

Rick Voorhees (unopposed)

Issue 1 (Marijuana sales tax)

Yes – 1,205

No – 813

Issue 2 (Marijuana wholesale tax)

Yes – 1,260

No – 764

Shelley Kaup and Jonathan Godes were the big winners in the Glenwood Springs City Council election that concluded on Tuesday, claiming victory in two hotly contested races over a pair of runners-up who were the more monied candidates in the spring campaign.

Kaup, who formerly served on council from 2007-11, came out on top in the four-way race for the open at-large seat, defeating longtime former Downtown Development Authority board member Charlie Willman, 811 votes to 724.

Jonathan Gorst, a political newcomer and recent new owner of the Riviera Supper Club, came away with 201 votes, and another former City Council member, Rick Davis, had 198 votes in the at-large race.

In the Ward 5 race, Godes had 272 votes to 124 for Amber Wissing and 53 for Don “Hooner” Gillespie, another former council member who was seeking a return to council. Rick Voorhees was running unopposed in this year’s election for the Ward 2 (West Glenwood) seat.

“I am humbled by the support I got from the community, and I’m honored to have the chance to serve again,” Kaup said. “I look forward to working for and with the community.”

Kaup, 56, is an energy efficiency consultant and program manager for the nonprofit Clean Energy Economy for the Region. She previously served as the Ward 3 representative on council, and now will take the at-large seat being vacated by Stephen Bershenyi, who was term-limited after two four-year terms. Bershenyi had thrown his support to Kaup.

Kaup said she believes her message of “getting down to community basics” and working to make Glenwood Springs a more “livable” place for residents resonated with voters.

“The candidates were mostly aligned on the big issues facing the city, but I do think I can add some voice to things like recycling issues, waste collection and improving the city’s electric utility,” she said.

Likewise, Godes said voters in his south Glenwood neighborhood seemed to appreciate his insight and ability to detail specifics regarding a pair of big issues that directly affect the residents along the south Midland Avenue corridor, including the need for Midland improvements and moving the South Bridge project forward.

“I was informed myself by what voters were telling me, and these are huge, huge issues in our ward,” he said. “I do want to thank Amber for making this an incredibly competitive race and for running a fantastic campaign, which makes it all the better for the residents of Ward 5 and conversely for the city of Glenwood Springs.”

Godes, 39, assumes the ward seat held for the past eight years by Leo McKinney, who had come out in support of both Godes and Kaup. McKinney, like Bershenyi and outgoing Ward 2 Councilor Matt Steckler, was term-limited.

Willman and Wissing joined forces during the campaign, holding “meet-the-candidates” events together and enjoying the backing of some of the movers and shakers in the Glenwood Springs business community. Both had out-raised and outspent the other candidates, according to campaign finance disclosures filed with the City Clerk, but that didn’t translate to enough votes to win the two seats.

Willman said he was disappointed in the result given his long tenure on the DDA board and other city boards and commissions, but congratulated Kaup on her win.

“I really thought I could do a good job for the city, and I’m sure Shelley will do a good job, too,” he said. “Obviously, we had some very qualified candidates, and there were not many things that we differed on.”

Willman said he will continue to serve on the city’s Financial Advisory Board and stay involved on other fronts, especially as the city works to redevelop the areas on either side of the new Grand Avenue bridge.

Kaup added that the mood of the electorate is maybe a little different than when she left City council five years ago.

“I’m going in with my eyes open and am ready to hit the ground running,” she said. “I am also looking forward to building some partnerships throughout the county and the valley.”

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