electionAs of 9 a.m. today, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, there were six official candidates for mayor, 13 candidates for three at-large spots on City Council, two candidates for District 2 and one candidate for District 4.

Mayoral candidates include County Commissioner Amy Lathen, former Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace, former Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, former Councilmember Joel Miller, Lawrence Martinez and Tony Carpenter.

Of the 13 at-large candidates, only one, incumbent Merv Bennett, has any experience as an elected official. Tom Strand and Al Loma have both served on the District 11 school board, and Bill Murray and Loma have both run for Council in the recent past.

Incumbent Larry Bagley, who was appointed by Council to replace Joel Miller in District 2, is running for the seat, as is Council gadfly Kanda Calef.

A last-minute surge of hopeful candidates enlivened the City Clerk’s office Wednesday afternoon. Nominating petitions had to be submitted to the Clerk by 5 p.m., and some candidates had scramble for a few more signatures as the clock ran out. At-large candidate Nick Lee barely made it on the ballot, but would-be mayoral candidate Moses Humes ran out of time.

In a development that puzzled many observers, Myron Pierce was the only candidate to file for the District 4 seat. Pierce, a minister who leads a small congregation on the city’s east side, moved to Colorado Springs from Omaha two years ago. CSBJ editor Ralph Routon wrote about Pierce in a column late last year.

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“He recalled being a “gang-banger” at 13,” Routon wrote, “getting into more and more trouble, with friends and relatives being murdered all around. He landed in prison, got out, committed armed robbery and returned to prison at 19, facing 14 to 30 years — and then found God.

“He served seven years, was released and began working to change Omaha one neighborhood at a time, as part of a ministry, and also as a church pastor.”

If incumbent Helen Collins is successfully recalled, Pierce will take her seat. His candidacy may conceivably dissuade voters from recalling Collins, especially since recall supporters stressed her associations with convicted felons Douglas Bruce and Bruce Nozolino as a primary reason for recalling her from office.

Pierce has denied any links to the authors of the recall.