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LovelandPolitics
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Loveland - August 24, 2013

Loveland Politics has learned that Mayor Pro Tem Daryle Klassen will file his already completed candidate petition Monday morning,
officially becoming a candidate for Mayor of the City of Loveland.   Klassen's announcement means incumbent Mayor Cecil Gutierrez will face
his first competitive reelection campaign since becoming mayor in 2009.     When Gutierrez sought re-election two years ago he had no
opponent in the race.

Meet the Candidates...

Daryle Klassen, a favorite of the Loveland business community, was the longtime owner of Loveland's KLOV radio station.  A political veteran,
Klassen previously served two terms on the Larimer County Board of Commissioners before being elected to the Loveland City Council,
representing Ward 1, in 2006, beating Cecil Gutierrez for the seat.  This defeat was especially noteworthy as the Larimer County Clerk failed
to print one or both candidate's names on some 200 ballots.

Known to be a confidant of a number of key senior city staff members, Klassen is the leader of the conservative majority on Loveland's City
Council, he was elected by his colleagues to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in November 2012.   

Cecil Gutierrez is a popular retired school principal and band director with the Thompson School District.  Gutierrez also previously served as
President of the local teachers' union and with the Thompson Education Association.  Following his loss to Klassen in 2006, Gutierrez was
elected to council in 2007, vacating his term halfway through to run for Mayor in 2009.  As the recognized leader of the liberal faction on
Loveland's City Council, Gutierrez's Mayoral seat is considered the highest priority for local Democratic Party leaders.

Gutierrez is reported to be working behind the scenes to discourage a third candidate,
Alexi Grewal, from entering the Mayor's race.  Alexi's
left of center politics is bound to draw some small number of supporters away from Gutierrez further lowering his odds of success in a three
person race where one faction splits votes between two candidate.   Grewal did officially receive a candidate nomination petition to run and
has run for mayor in the past but garnered very few votes.

A Tale of Two Candidates, by the Numbers...

Gutierrez supporters hope a combination of his strong name I.D., fawning praise from the Loveland Reporter-Herald, and strong liberal
turnout for the controversial fracking moratorium will be enough to carry him to victory.  Gutierrez has had mixed electoral results in his
short political career.  Not only did he lose the before-mentioned 2006 race to Klassen, a race where he failed to garner even 44% of the
popular vote, Gutierrez was elected Mayor in 2009 while gaining less than 36% of the total vote against four Republican mayoral candidates.
However, in 2011, Gutierrez scored a major victory, winning an uncontested second term as Mayor.  

The keys to Klassen's victory, according to Loveland political insiders, will be strong support from "old Loveland" and the business
community, including the Board of Realtors who were instrumental in Councilman Dave Clark's defeat of the well healed Paul Mueller
campaign Ward 4.  If these groups believe that having a conservative majority is not threatened by a Gutierrez 3rd term and that  defeating
Gutierrez is not their highest priority, Klassen could have a difficult time raising sufficient money.

As in last year's Ward 4 special election where both candidates used their respective partisan affiliations to gain support, expect both
candidates to try to appeal to  partisan supporters.  Gutierrez held a well publicized candidate "meet and greet" for Democratic  
Congressman Jared Polis last year in Gutierrez's home.  Democrats make up only 24% of Loveland's active voters which is why an issue like  
the fracking moratorium is so essential to engage liberal voters for Gutierrez.  Klassen will hope to get Republicans to the polls since they
make up nearly 40% of the City's active voters.   The candidate who can turn-out more party faithful voters is likely be Loveland's Mayor.  
Therefore, this race is likely to become quite partisan and divide along national partisan party lines.

Stay tuned to lovelandpolitics.com for more details on this race and other emerging campaign news...
Mayor Pro Tem Daryle
Klassen To Challenge
Gutierrez for Mayor's Gavel

see story
Worried incumbent Mayor
Cecil Gutierrez
Mayor Pro Tem
Daryle Klassen
LovelandPolitics Exclusive Story