JOSH STEPHENSON/Durango Herald
Candidates Dean Brookie, Christina Rinderle and Keith Brant were the big winners in Tuesday’s Durango City Council election.
Brookie, an architect, got the most votes at 2,564.
Rinderle, the only incumbent, was the second with 2,392 votes, and Keith Brant, owner of Durango Premier Vacation Rentals, was third with 1,593 votes.
Brookie will be the mayor in three years based on being the top vote-getter and the council’s tradition for rotating the gavel.
“I had no clue (about getting the most votes),” Brookie said. “You just never know. I have never run for anything. It’s a new experience for me, and a wild and crazy adventure.”
Rinderle said her re-election was a validation of her first term.
“It feels good to know with all the controversy around accessory dwellings ... that I’m moving in the right direction to represent the public,” she said.
Brant, who emphasized his financial expertise during the race, said he thought “my message resonated. ‘Spend the money wisely.’ It wasn’t that complex.”
Failing to earn City Council seats were Floyd Patterson, 1,140 votes; Kristen Smith, 704; and Jordan Golson, 625.
The election, which saw six candidates vying for three open seats, had 3,442 votes, or about 37 percent of eligible voters, cast.
The three top vote-getters will be sworn-in April 16, joining incumbents Dick White and Sweetie Marbury.
A few voters on Tuesday explained their choices.
“I voted for Rinderle and Brookie, not because I agree with them on every issue, but because they were the only candidates who were informed and thoughtful about issues facing Durango,” said Dan Money on Tuesday.
Josh Martin said he voted for Golson because of his emphasis on technology and for architect Brookie because he liked his emphasis on historical preservation.
Another voter said he voted for Smith, a server at Ska Brewing Co., because “she works in the service industry” and for Patterson because “he wants to build a downtown parking garage.”
The incumbency seemed both a blessing and a curse for Rinderle, with voters saying they voted for her or against her because of her record.
Voters also expressed some dissatisfaction with the quality of candidates.
“I watched the League of Women Voters’ (candidates’ forum) online. I spent a lot of time yelling at my computer,” said the voter supporting Brookie and Rinderle.
“The other four candidates displayed an intense level of ignorance of city issues,” he said.
Another voter said she found herself in the same predicament of indecision.
“I was looking for someone who was thoughtful, well-educated on the issues and shared some of my values, such as environmental sustainability. I had trouble finding three that I liked, and that’s the truth,” said the voter, who asked for anonymity. “It was tough. (My husband and I) ended up voting for two (candidates) whose positions were not necessarily aligned with our own.”
“It’s great when people show an interest in getting involved in their city, but you also want people who have a background knowledge to do this very important, serious job,” she said. “Being a citizen is not a qualification for this job.”
Herald Staff Writer Ann Butler contributed to this report.