Mayor Kudron, supporters rally at Grand Lake Town Hall to celebrate failed recall

Voters shoot down recall 150-45

Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron cheers after Town Clerk Jennifer Thompson posted the results of Tuesday’s recall ballot. The effort to recall the mayor failed 150-45, according to the unofficial total.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News

Just over two dozen people gathered with Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron outside town hall Tuesday night, some already celebrating his victory while others kept their excitement more reserved.

Decided Tuesday, the contentious recall ballot that had put Kudron’s future as mayor in the crosshairs failed. The vote margin was wide: 150 opposed the recall and 45 favored it. That’s according to the unofficial voting count released by Town Clerk Jennifer Thompson.

Taken just after 7 p.m., an informal headcount of the anti-recall party outside town hall put their number just over two dozen.

Among the gathered were a number of prominent Grand Lakers, including a couple town trustees, the town manager and public works director, and the president of the Grand Lake Chamber board, in addition to the mayor’s wife and some of his most fierce supporters.

Overwhelmingly, the group was expecting a blowout victory for the mayor in the recall ballot, the results for which were expected shortly after 7 p.m. Few if any thought Kudron would lose the recall vote, but they all seemed to want to hear the news themselves before taking the celebration to a nearby restaurant and bar.

They didn’t have to wait long. Before the results were posted, Town Manager John Crone emerged from town hall, the glass doors beaming light into the dimly lit space between town hall and the Juniper Library, and cut the suspense.

The crowd asked Crone for news. He replied that he would have to defer to town clerk and wouldn’t release the totals himself, but Crone also said he would call it a “mandate” and approached Kudron to give the mayor a big hug.

Not long after that, the town clerk stepped out and posted the unofficial voting results: The recall failed 150-45. It appears that the mayor will remain in office following an effort that began with a petition filed in May.

Now standing on the steps next to the town clerk and the posted results, Kudron asked her to read the total before the crowd erupted in cheers and the mayor offered a few words of his own.

“I got a lot of other people to thank,” he said after listing a handful of individuals that helped him oppose the recall effort.

“No. 1, thank you so much for voting ‘no,'” Kudron yelled. “I have to tell you this is not only a mandate of who Grand Lakers are but it’s also a mandate that says that the people who live in Grand Lake, who work in Grand Lake, who are here in residence, who spend their time and their heart here are counted. Thank you so much.”

Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron gestures to the air while he thanks a crowd of his supporters Tuesday night outside town hall.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News

Earlier in the night, a handful of the comments that came from the crowd were insensitive, or even mean, toward some of the people who pushed the recall effort, but moreover, the group expressed optimism for the town’s future and what the recall ballot would mean going forward.

With 195 votes cast, the recall ballot brought a sharp uptick in voter participation for Grand Lake. In the April 2020 municipal election, Kudron beat Robert Canon 83-13.

On Wednesday, Kudron continued to express his gratitude, pointing out that more than 75% of voters opposed the recall and saying he was ecstatic with the way that the town came out to support the town board and him in particular.

Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron, center right, gets a kiss from his wife after he and about two dozen of his supporters posed for a photo with their big anti-recall banner outside town hall on Tuesday.
Eli Pace/Sky-Hi News

“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” Kudron said. “It brings to me a greater sense of responsibility because, during the recall, the community talked about what the board’s plans have been and what the board’s future plans are going to be, and there are more people paying attention, and I think that it’s really important that we follow through on those commitments we made to address affordable housing, make sure that our infrastructure is top notch, and to certainly be a place for our community to always come, to gather and to call home.”

Reached over the phone Wednesday, one of the petitioners said that they were disappointed with the results and this was not the ending they had hoped for, but added there’s not much they can do now and they’re ready to move on.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.