The sudden resignation of Cat McEwen this summer did more than create a vacancy on the City Council. It created a City Council that is so divided it can’t even elect a new mayor pro tem, a position formerly held by McEwen (who was the only member of Council who was not affiliated with either major political party). Two candidates for the position were nominated – Joan Shaffer and Daryle Klassen – but both failed to get the five votes needed for the appointment.
The special election to replace McEwen is scheduled for Nov. 6. Normally one City Council seat is not that significant. However, this year that is not the case. The election of one person will affect the future of Loveland because it will give one party a majority on Council. While City Council races are not supposed to be partisan, the fact of the matter is that party politics are playing more and more of a role in local elections.
Dave Clark, a former Council member who ran unsuccessfully for Ward IV in 2011 will face political neophyte Paul Mueller. Other candidates could emerge before the August 27 deadline, but if so those candidates will not be members of either political party. Why? Clark is a Republican. Mueller is a Democrat. Both parties want their candidate to win and will avoid splitting the vote. According to the City Clerk, there 9,286 active voters in Ward IV. The turnout on Nov. 6 will determine the City Council’s future agenda.