We are now days away from ending another election.
Sure, you shrug off the election of Aurora lawmakers and the pittance of statewide questions, realizing, you’ve seen nary a TV commercial. The robo-calls have been at a minimum, so you think, “what’s the big deal?”
While you were sleeping, staffers at The Sentinel have faithfully ingested and regurgitated the usual 7.8 million or so words produced by and about city council, school district races and local ballot initiatives.
And along the way, you were probably thinking that this political business has become so confrontational and inflammatory, that you’d rather watch another old episode of Full House, or have your eyebrows threaded with an old boat rope than have one of “those people” come tap-tap-tapping at your door to ask, “I’m running for (city council, congress, state senate, school board, your immortal soul) and I’d like to tell you why.”
Hark. There’s a brighter and lighter side to all this. One of the people in Aurora working for your vote is trained classically to play the clarinet, in addition to her own horn.
It’s true. And one of the candidates pens sagas for Dungeons and Dragons.
Just when you thought this was all too boring to care about, here’re some personal tidbits The Sentinel has gleaned over the past few months that will make you see the people who want to run the city in a whole new light.
If mayoral hopeful and Councilwoman Marsha Berzins could have one superpower, she says it would be: clairvoyance. Who saw that coming? If you’re thinking she doesn’t seem very excitable when she talks the city council talk, consider that when she was a little girl, she wanted to be a businesswoman when she grew up.
More surprising is the long-elected Mike Coffman, whose resume includes state rep and senator, state treasurer, secretary of state, congressman and dog lover. Every year, he loves to watch the 1983 version of A Christmas Story. And the song he could listen to forever? “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.
Who doesn’t love a nice Jewish boy who dabbles in Buddhism and lofty liberal notions?
Coffman’s hidden talent? He has a sense of humor. Let’s test it.
Another mayoral wannabe, Ryan Frazier, can hang a picture, he says. In info sent to the newsroom, he didn’t expand on whether he does it analog or with plumb bob marks on the wall. More interesting is that if he wrote a memoir, he’d call it “Kissing Frogs.” That sounds like a story. Another story, if he was in a reality show, it would be called, “The Real Housewives of Aurora.”
And Omar Montgomery, also wanting to sit in the mayor’s seat, he recently read a Toltec philosophy book that dealt with a “code of conduct promoting personal freedom and responsibility.’
Yowser. Most everybody here watches a lot of cat-scared-of-cucumber videos.
Montgomery’s surprising talent? Golf. So daring.
And the last of the mayors-to-be? Renie Peterson. She’s not just a talker. She’s an artist.
Down ballot hopefuls tend to be more surprising.
At-large, very conservative candidate Curtis Gardner? The guy who works for a bank? He’s rocking it to “Sultans of Swing” in the shower and in the car on the way home.
The play-by-the-book, at-large candidate Angela Lawson is the council musician. She plays Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat. Trained as a classical clarinetist, not the same old song.
The whimsically-in-your-face, at-large council candidate Martha Lugo says people would be surprised to know she’s an “aggressive softball catcher.”
Not a surprise. It’d be fun to see, however. She could listen to “El Niágara en Bicicleta,” by Juan Luis Guerra, for all eternity.
And the movie that at-large council candidate Thomas Mayes could watch until the Netflix account gives out? “The Wizard of Oz.” The eternally serious-without-seeming-serious Mayes does have a secret: He’s a comedian.
Current Councilman Johnny Watson, who’s looking to keep his at-large seat, is also an “Electronic Technician with Laser Certification.”
At-large candidate Leanne Wheeler said that when she was a little girl, she wanted to be a chemical engineer. Wow.
Juan Marcano, running against incumbent Charlie Richardson in Ward 4, is a “Princess Bride” aficionado. He has a secret, too. “My side-hustle is writing and selling content for Dungeons and Dragons.” Who knew? He doesn’t come off that nerdy.
Richardson has no secrets. The say-anything city lawmaker is true to himself. If he had any superpower in the world? “Go six or more hours without needing to go to the bathroom.” It’s no secret that he’s the council comic.
Ward 5 candidate Alison Coombs can “build a mean fire.” Hmmm. And incumbent Ward 5 Councilman Bob Roth, who comes across as a contender for one of the most vanilla legislators on the dais? Surprise. He’s a piano-rockin’ crooner. Really. Another council meeting shouldn’t pass without Roth ripping an Ol’ Blue Eyes anthem. His own favorite song, which surely runs on repeat on his smart-phone, the obscure ““Fools Rush In,” by The King.
There’s more. Social studies teacher Bryan Lindstrom, candidate for Ward 6? He’s a juggler. Incumbent Ward 6 Councilwoman Francoise Bergan can rattle off a French tongue-twister like someone named Francoise.
So if you can’t figure out or don’t care what really separates the panel of politicians making all those promises, pick one that’s singing your tune.
Follow @EditorDavePerry on Facebook and Twitter or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]