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Olson wins Loveland City Council Ward 3 election

Steve Olson leads opponents in the City Council race by taking more than 65 percent of the vote
By Saja Hindi

Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
POSTED:   04/11/2017 09:43:32 PM MDT

Their phones began buzzing after 8 p.m. as Steve Olson's campaign team sat in the Loveland City Council meeting Tuesday night.

Municipal election officials told Olson he had won the Ward 3 special election with 65.2 percent of the vote.

His campaign manager and several of his supporters, including the former holder of the seat Hugh McKean, stepped outside to chat and celebrate. But Olson stayed seated until the meeting had adjourned.

The special election was held to fill the seven-month vacancy left on the seat by McKean after his election as the Colorado House District 51 representative last November.

McKean, R-Loveland, said he expected the results — "Steve did a tremendous amount of work, and I'm incredibly proud of him," he said.

Olson ran against two others for the seat, Howard Dotson and John Keil. The two received 21.1 percent and 13.3 percent of the vote, respectively.

While Ward 3 has almost 11,000 registered voters, only 1,987 ballots were cast, about 18 percent.

And that's one aspect of the election Keil expressed his disappointment about. He wanted to see more turnout.
Following the council meeting, Olson said he was relieved — he also expected to win but not by the amount that he did.
"I was very hopeful," Olson said. "I had a lot of positive encouragement from people."

Olson credits much of his win to his campaign manager Amy Parks, one of McKean's campaign managers during his legislative campaign. He also cites the number of residences he approached: about 4,000.

While Olson said he's not going into the position with an agenda other than to listen to constituents and delving into the financial aspects of the position, he does have two issues he plans to pay special attention to: changes to the Planning Commission's development code and creating a better understanding of visions for the city's various boards and commissions.

While Keil received the fewest amount of votes, he was not discouraged Tuesday night.

"I started my campaign four months ago and got 265 people to vote for me without ever running a campaign in my life," he said.

Keil ran on a message of getting rid of subsidies, and he hopes his campaign will prompt others to run in the future.
"If a 25-year-old, ex-weed grower can run and can get over 10 percent of the vote, then hopefully some other people will be inspired to do the same," he said.

Keil isn't ruling out a run for the future, but for now, he said Olson will serve as a good, unbiased representative whose ideology fits in line with others such as Councilman Don Overcash and Dave Clark — both supporters of Olson.
For Dotson, the results of the election are disappointing but not surprising.

"You set the conversation and my objective was to continue to interpret the need for greater mental health care access," he said.

He ran because he wanted to change the council stance on not taking stances on other entities' ballot initiatives, especially supporting a mental health center.

Saja Hindi: 970-699-5404, hindis@reporter-herald.com, twitter.com/BySajaHindi.

http://www.reporterherald.com/ci_30915703/olson-wins-loveland-city-council-ward-3-election


Committee to Elect Steve Olson
1668 McKenzie Ct. | Loveland, CO 80537
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