Hugh McKean will be sworn in as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives on January 11. Recently McKean indicated he intends to continue to represent Ward III until January 10. By law, the Council cannot set a special election until a member resigns. Once a letter of resignation is tendered the Council must set the election within 180 days. Looking at the timeline and legal requirements, it appears likely the special election won’t happen until at least March.
McKean’s term would expire November 2017, so whoever wins the seat will serve for a matter months, unless they choose to run again. McKean indicated his decision to continue serving on City Council until January was based on his desire to continue serving his constituents and his belief that it would be better for everyone — staff, voters and candidates – to avoid scheduling an election close to the holiday season.
The special election is significant, even though it will be decided solely by voters in Ward III. Currently, the Council has four liberal members (Gutierrez, Ball, Johnson and Shaffer) and four conservatives (Clark, Krenning, McKean and Overcash). Mayor pro tem John Fogle is the swing vote. Filling McKean’s seat will set the majority until the next City Council election in November 2017.