Loveland - July 22, 2011

Loveland's next municipal election is now barely 3 months away yet little is being heard from potential
candidates.  This is significant as three of the four incumbents on council whose terms expire this
November are rumored to be leaving.  

Councilwoman Carol Johnson along with
Mayor Cecil Gutierrez are the only two incumbents expected
to seek reelection this November.  Loveland has a large City Council consisting of two people elected from
each of the city's four wards and one Mayor.  The council terms are staggered so one four-year council
term from each ward expires every two years.  The Mayor has a shorter term and is therefore up for
reelection every two years instead of four like the council.

Mayor Gutierrez may only serve 1 year if reelected as sources within the Larimer County Democratic
Party say he is being groomed to run against
State House Representative Brian DelGrosso in 2012.  
Pundits say holding onto the Mayor's gavel in Loveland is important since most of DelGrosso's State
House District 51 is the within city boundaries.  Potential rivals to Mayor Gutierrez's reelection include his
previous rivals; former
Councilman Dave Clark and local attorney Troy Krenning.  Upon further
investigation, LovelandPolitics learned Krenning is less likely to challenge Gutierrez and instead announce
his candidacy for
Larimer County District Attorney.

November's municipal election in Loveland will be conducted by mail-in ballots so there is really no
election day in the traditional sense but instead an election deadline to cast ballots by close of business on
November 1, 2011.  This means candidates running for one of the open council seats or for Mayor will
need to get their campaign message out to voters in under 90 days even if they start campaigning this
week.  One common problem with mail-in elections is information revealed during the campaign can have
little impact on the election outcome if most of ballots are already returned before the traditional election
day deadline.

Longtime Loveland
Councilman Larry Heckel is expected to give-up his seat this year by recruiting his
replacement to represent Ward 4.  The combinations of his advancing age, anemic construction business
in this poor economy and his recent divorce from a lifelong marriage have contributed to his decision
according to sources close to Heckel.  Though he will not run, sources did report Heckel intends to
remain active in local politics similar to his former colleague and friend Dave Clark who continues
attending council meetings and showing an interest in local politics.

Councilman Kent Solt was first elected to council with Cecil Gutierrez on a reform platform in 2007.  
Like Heckel, Solt is not interested in seeking another term according to sources in city hall.  According to
city staff, Solt "does his homework" and rarely comes to a council meeting unprepared.  Unlike his
colleagues who are mostly retired or self-employed, Solt also maintains a full time job outside his council
duties and must balance both against his other role as the father of young children.  A job loss earlier in
his council term was an unwelcome surprise that may also be influencing his decision not to seek another
term.  Nonetheless, he is being encouraged to stay on council and run for another term.  Whether he
finally decides to continue balancing his council duties against his new position and family obligations
remains to be seen.

The biggest surprise is
Councilwoman Donna Rice's decision not to seek another term.  A sophisticated
political operator, some speculate the whisper campaign Rice initiated saying she isn't going to run again
is some kind of diversion tactic meant to keep the attention off of her record until she files papers to run.  
We do not believe this to be the case and suspect her comments about not seeking another term are
sincere.  Elected in March of 2010 in a special election to fill Gutierrez's council seat when he was elected
Mayor, Rice will have served less than 2 years in the position if she does not run for reelection.  

Former aid to United States Senators Salazar and Bennett,
Meg (Margret) Corwin is also reported to be
looking into a run for the Ward 1 Loveland City Council seat now occupied by Donna Rice.  A prominent
former Weld County resident, Corwin may run into trouble given her history on the Timnath Town
Council and her unexpected resignation in July of 2007 from the Timnath Town Council.  Locally elected
officials who fail to complete their elected term in office can run into trouble when trying to convince
voters they won't quit again the second time they run.  Corwin has also been a loyal activist in Larimer
County Democratic Party circles so is expected to bring considerable support from fellow partisans to her
race for Loveland City Council.

Supporters of Donna Rice (from within Loveland's Chamber of Commerce) are reported to be
encouraging a competitor or hers in the
2010 special election, Robert Molloy, to run again for the Ward
1 seat.  Molloy has served on Loveland's Planning Commission for years as the Chairman and has
extensive knowledge in land use, development and city planning.  An architect by profession he is a
known commodity to the local development community and is likely to win their support.  Molloy's wife
serves as the Assistant City Manager in Longmont, Colorado so he is also familiar with the challenges he
will face as a city councilman dealing with staff.  Expect fireworks in a
Corwin/Molloy match-up for the
Ward 1 council seat
as moneyed and partisan interests collide.  Molloy is not affiliated with either major
political party and prefers to register as an "independent" though if forced to choose has said he would
side with Republicans during his previous race for council.

Carol Johnson is the only current incumbent looking to run again and serve the full term in that position
if elected.  Untested by any genuine election, Johnson found herself in the Ward 2 council seat after her
supporters in 2007 persuaded potential rivals to drop out of the council race entirely leaving Johnson
alone to win an uncontested election.  A former Golden, Colorado Councilwoman, Johnson failed in her
attempt to be reelected to the Golden City Council before moving to Loveland.  Whether Loveland voters
return her to the Loveland City Council to again represent Ward 2 will depend mostly on who, if anyone,
from within Ward 2 decides to throw their hat in the ring.  

If you have any late breaking news, inside stories about the candidates or feel anything published above
is inaccurate, please email comments to or post your comments to our
November City Election: Incumbents Not Running
Only one of the four councilors up for re-election expected to run in November
BLOG - Post your comments here
Cecil Gutierrez
Dave Clark?
Ward 1
Donna Rice*
Meg Corwin
Rob Malloy
Ward 2
Carol Johnson
Ward 3
Kent Solt*
Ward 4
Larry Heckel*
Mayor Gutierrez
Councilman Kent Solt
Councilwoman Donna Rice
Councilman Larry Heckel
Councilwoman Carol Johnson
* equals incumbent likely not to seek re-election