Gov't Affairs, Govt Longmont

Sammoury Loses At-Large Longmont Seat

The results of the City Council election were disappointing for the Longmont Association of REALTORS. Three of four LAR-endorsed candidates were not victorious on Nov. 5. The most surprising result was Alex Sammoury’s failure to win another 4-year term. Incumbents rarely lose, according to conventional wisdom, unless they have scandals or bad PR to overcome. Sammoury had neither of these difficulties. Observers have suggested that his name recognition was low. Others have said he did not campaign as vigorously as he could have.

Rick Accountius’s loss in the Ward II race was also unexpected. As a member of the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission he had the pedigree – the experience and credentials – traditionally expected of a successful candidate. His opponent Jeff Moore had little relevant experience but managed an excellent campaign and was endorsed by many Democratic Party leaders, including Jonathan Singer, Deb Gardner, former City Councilor Karen Benker and former City Manager Gordon Pedrow.

Of course the most significant result of the City Council election is that the pro-business faction lost its majority. Gabe Santos and Bonnie Finley will have an uphill struggle against Mayor Coombs, Sarah Levison, Polly Christensen and Jeff Moore. Brian Bagley holds the swing vote and does not consistently vote pro-business. Gabe Santos lost his position as Mayor Pro Tem in the first meeting of the new Council.

Ominously, it took 8 votes before the Council elected Brian Bagley to the position over Santos and Sarah Levison. As a side note, according to campaign finance reports filed to date, Moore got a $250 campaign contribution from the Metro Housing Coalition, a PAC created by the Denver Metro HBA. Attempts to contact the HBA to learn the rationale for this contribution were not successful.

Note: Longmont’s current population is approximately 85,000. 24,413 people voted this year. According to the City Clerk Longmont had 44,499 registered voters in 2012.

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