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Heather Graham to be the next mayor of Pueblo, according to unofficial results

Posted at 10:13 PM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-24 15:38:17-05

PUEBLO, Colo. — Unofficial results for the Pueblo mayoral runoff election between incumbent Mayor Nick Gradisar, and City Council President Heather Graham, show Graham leading by nearly 6,000 votes.

As of 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Graham leads with 14,171 votes (62.9%). Gradisar currently has 8,355 votes (37.1%).

According to the City of Pueblo's website, 22,526 total votes have been accounted for. They say this is 100% of the votes, however, the city clerk says the results of this vote are still considered unofficial, and will not be considered official until the canvas is held on February 1, when results are officially verified.

Heather Graham said she could not be more excited to be the next mayor of Pueblo.

“The first female mayor, that's exciting... it's been a long run. I've had lots of help along the way and I'm excited to carry this title for the next four years,” Graham said.

As the results poured in ,Graham said she was not surprised.

“I think that people have been dissatisfied with the leadership over the last five years and they're ready for a change,” Graham said.

Graham's supporters cheered and clapped with joy as she announced she would take over the job as mayor.

“I'm surrounded by tons of citizens who had concerns that they brought to me and hopefully over the next four years, we're able to do something about it,” Graham said.

Just minutes after the results were released, incumbent Mayor Nick Gradisar called Graham.

“Our conversation was good. He congratulated me on the win and said he didn't necessarily know it was going to end up like this. He said it's hard work, which I know, and I'm looking forward to the challenges and the hard work that comes in the next four years,” Graham said.

Gradisar said he wanted to congratulate her.

“Obviously the margin was so great that the remaining number of ballots weren't going to make a difference. So I decided to concede and call Heather Graham to congratulate her on being the mayor elect for the City of Pueblo,” Gradisar said.

Gradisar was surprised to see that Graham had beaten him by nearly 6,000 votes.

“We obviously didn't anticipate seeing those kinds of numbers. You prepare yourself always, you never know what the voters are going to do and I certainly was not within the realm of possibility that I would not be successful tonight. But we hope to be successful,” Gradisar said.

He said he is looking forward to his next steps and relaxing a little.

“I told the crowd earlier I'm looking forward to being a has been and just relaxing a little bit, getting a little therapy on some rental properties that my brothers and I have. We'll be fine,” Gradisar said.

News5 asked Gradisar what his advice is to Graham as she takes over this new role.

“I think she obviously needs to put together a good leadership team. I thought we had a great leadership team for the first five years that I was the mayor. I think she should take her time in assembling that leadership team and make sure she gets qualified people that have the best interest of the community at heart and that know what they're doing. Being mayor is a hard job and you need smart, bright people around you to get it done,” Gradisar said.

Gradisar said it is time for everyone to get behind the new mayor.

“We have to be ready to rally behind the mayor. We don't have any choice. She's going to be the mayor for the next four years. I think there's some other issues this community is going to face and this country is going to face that people need to get involved in. As I told my supporters earlier, it's incumbent on each of us as individuals, our democracy is at stake in this country,” Gradisar said.

He wishes the best of luck to the city council and the next mayor.

“But obviously there are no simple solutions to the problems of crime and homelessness or that would have been done by now. My opponent did a good job of identifying the problems, identifying the issues, but that's the cheapest trick in politics, to identify that without offering any solutions. So we'll see what solutions are going to be put forth,” Gradisar said.

Graham said the next step is to finalize her team.

“I'm most looking forward to taking the concerns of the constituents and actually providing solutions to the problems that they're having,” Graham said.

The city has not yet set a date for Graham’s inauguration.

For the latest results, click here.


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