PUEBLO – He was the man urging Puebloans to change their form of government last year, and on election night attorney Nick Gradisar held a slight lead in a crowded 16-way race to become the City’s first mayor in decades. As of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, Gradisar had captured nearly 14 percent of the vote (4,536 votes).
The result is well shy of the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win the seat outright. However, Gradisar did not surrender his lead as new vote tallies were released. In fact, his lead over the next closest candidate grew slightly between the 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. results.
There was a sense of celebration at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday night, even if victory means two more months of campaigning.
“The campaign doesn’t end, I told these people that they’ve got another two months, they are excited to do it,” Gradisar said.
A mere 55 votes separated the next three candidates with Lori Winner (4,163 votes) holding a slight edge over Chris Nicoll (4,142 votes) and Steve Nawrocki (4,108 votes.) All three have served on Pueblo City Council.
County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz saw the need for a runoff election coming and has already scheduled the date of January 22 for that contest. Ortiz wanted to leave enough time to finish the canvass of the current election before printing and mailing ballots for the runoff.