NewsElection Watch


Fact-checking Mayoral Runoff Debate: Numbers don’t lie

Colorado Springs Mayoral Candidates list statistics, percentages, and all kinds of numbers during their campaigns.
Posted at 6:33 PM, May 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 10:55:17-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As the saying goes, "numbers don't lie", and the remaining candidates for Colorado Springs Mayor have used a series of numbers to boost up their claims during their campaigns.

In a recent mayoral debate with News5, The Gazette, El Pomar Foundation, and the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, the candidates shared many numbers.

News5 took a look at some of their claims, some numbers required additional records requests from the city of Colorado Springs. Those claims will be added as more information is recieved.

Here's a look at some of the claims and how true they are.

CLAIM #1 "[Colorado Springs] had about a $30 billion economy eight years ago, it's now up to a $40 billion economy in our community"

Who said it: Wayne Williams

This is true. Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysisshows the real gross domestic product (GDP) (which adjusts for inflation) was a little more than $30 billion in 2015. The most recent data compiled is in 2022 which shows the GDP at a little more than $36 billion. The GDP without those adjustments is more than $43 billion.

CLAIM #2 "I don't know how 125% increase in homicides is on the right track"

Who said it: Yemi Mobolade

This is true, it just needs some context based on where the numbers are coming from and over what period of time. For this report, News5 is citing the Colorado Crime Statistics webpage, which compiles data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the National Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

The website shows crime trends over a five year period. From 2018 to 2022 the percentage increase in murder cases for CSPD was 36%. However, by looking at the data from 2019 to 2022 (when Williams was first elected to city council) those numbers to equate to a 125% increase.

CLAIM #3 "During the time I've been on city council we've added 62 police officers"

Who said it: Wayne Williams

That's true. The city budget reports from 2020 to 2023 show in that time the city has budgeted for an increase for 62 police officers. During the same time period, dozens of officers have left the police department including 85 in 2022 and 77 in 2021.

CLAIM #4: "I met with a law enforcement officer last week who left last August, the same month he left 25 officers left that month, attrition is 10% right now"

Who said it: Yemi Mobolade.

That's partly true. Numbers obtained by News5 from CSPD show the department did see the highest number of officers leave the department in August of last year. CSPD reports 13 left, not 25. However, a report by Pam Zubeck at the Colorado Springs Independent in September of last year shows the five year average of attrition for CSPD is around 10 percent. News5 requested the data from the city but did not hear back before Thursday's deadline.


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