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Candidate wants wide-open debate for council at-large seat

Candidates raise $13,000
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(left) Sean McCoy, (center) Mitzi Nicoletti (right) Gary Hodges


A candidate running for the at-large seat on the city council is asking for a wide-open debate among himself and his two opponents.

Gary Hodges is running for the seat vacated last year by Joan Peck, who won her bid for mayor. He said there have been at least two forums where the council candidates answer questions from an online audience. “I think forums are nice,” Hodges said. However, they have not been viewed by very many people, he said.

 Hodges said the public would be better served by having all three candidates debate about the hottest topics facing residents.

“We would get on the stage and take hard and difficult questions,” Hodges said Tuesday during the public invited to be heard portion of the city council study session. “I think it would be a lot of fun and I might fall right on my face. But I think it would be valuable for the citizens of Longmont.”

Hodges is running against Mitzi Nicoletti and Sean McCoy for the council seat. The three have raised over a combined $13,000 for the race. Nicoletti has raised the most, bringing in $4,714.64 before becoming a certified candidate in August.

Minus her expenses, she had $3,254.48 at the start of the first official reporting period, which started July 30, according to the Longmont city clerk’s office.

Nicoletti raised another $3,075 in funds and spent $4,817, mostly for campaign pamphlets and signs. She still has $1,517 on hand, according to the clerk’s office.

Hodges has raised $3,352 and spent $2,313.16. McCoy carried $602.64 in unspent funding from his race last year for an at-large seat on the city council to the current contest. McCoy raised another $1,378.75 and spent $863.75 during the last two reporting periods, according to records.

Hodges told the city council Tuesday night he has enjoyed his first political campaign but he has struggled to get his message out to the public. An in-person debate would help more people get to know the candidates. “Whatever we can do, would help,” Hodges said.