Incumbent Geoff Blue pulled a big win over challenger Heather Hankins for the city council seat in the central and east part of Castle Pines, while Deborah Mulvey succeeded in a race of incumbents for the council seat in the northwest part of town.
Blue, an owner at Gessler Blue Law Firm, bested opponent Hankins, a Realtor, with 63% to Hankins’ 37% with about 1,300 votes counted as of the afternoon Nov. 8. Those remained the most recent results available through early morning Nov. 10.
Another incumbent, Mulvey, a trial attorney, won in a closer race over the current councilmember for the western part of the city, Kevin Rants.
Mulvey was up 53% to Rants’ 47%, with about 2,100 votes counted.
Meanwhile, longtime Castle Pines resident Ron Cole ran unopposed, clinching the seat in the western district.
The results mean Blue, a longtime fixture in Castle Pines city government, will continue his influence over city matters, along with current Councilmember Mulvey. Cole, the newcomer to council, also has experience contributing to Castle Pines city policy.
You can find which city council district you live in by searching for your address on the city’s map online at tinyurl.com/CastlePinesDistrictMap.
MORE ELECTION NEWS
Here’s more on the election races and the candidates.
Blue keeps seat in District 3
After Blue moved to Castle Pines in 2013, he wanted to get involved with the city, he said.
“One of the things I really liked about being on city council is making decisions — and hopefully making good decisions — to make the city grow, knowing my daughter and I are going to live there for a while,” Blue said. “Watching the roads get rebuilt, it’s nice to know I was a part of that.”
Blue was first appointed to Castle Pines City Council in 2014 to fill a vacant seat and won election to keep his position in 2015.
In 2021, current Mayor Tracy Engerman won the mayor’s race, and Blue was appointed to finish her term, he said.
Before serving on city council, Blue served on the Castle Pines Planning Commission, a group of residents who make recommendations to the city council about property development decisions.
“I think I’ve just been around enough now that people know my name,” Blue said, adding: “The people that know me know the work I do and have seen how I approach city government and city issues, and the results indicate people like generally how I handle it.”
City officials hear from some people who object to development in the city, “saying it’s all about the money,” Blue said.
But city council can’t give a thumbs up or thumbs down to every property development based on personal preference. It’s all up to “zoning” — a city’s rules for what can be built where.
They’re “not understanding how little control city council has. Once (land) is zoned, if someone wants to put in something that fits within those zoning rules, you’re stuck with it,” Blue said.
Aside from development, road quality has also made a name as one of the top issues in Castle Pines over the years, and voters in this election approved a sales tax increase to fund road repair and maintenance in Castle Pines. They also gave the OK to a largely administrative measure that will transfer — but for most areas, not raise — property taxes to the City of Castle Pines instead of often-smaller local government bodies called “metro districts.” That ballot measure concerns funding that goes to parks and recreation.
Continuing his work on city council, Blue is anticipating digging into the effect of the two ballot measures.
“I’m interested to see those numbers and what that allows us to do with the roads and that kind of thing,” Blue said.
Ensuring the city sees “smart development” is another priority for Blue. He spoke of the “mixed-use” aspect of The Canyons housing development. (“Mixed use” means building different types of properties in one area, such as housing with a shopping center.)
“I know our residents are asking for more options in the city for shopping and for restaurants, and to make that happen, we need to get the Canyons mixed use online because there’ll be a lot more retail opportunities over there,” off Castle Pines Parkway east of Interstate 25, Blue said.
It’s unclear when that retail development in The Canyons will pop up, and one of Blue’s priorities will be to find ways to encourage the Canyons team to start developing, he said.
“My guess is the only way we’re going to make it happen is if we find ways to get them to recognize that it’s in their best interests to start. And if that means we don’t agree to certain changes they want until they start developing, I’m more than willing to do that,” Blue said.
Outside of city affairs, Blue served as an attorney for Douglas County school board members as they faced allegations that they broke state open meetings law when they held a series of one-on-one conversations before firing former Superintendent Corey Wise last year.
“I’m proud of the work I did there,” Blue said, adding that he felt he was able to reach a successful outcome. “My firm is a litigation firm — we deal with business and political litigation, so it was a good fit.”
Hankins was Blue’s challenger in the Castle Pines election. She has various real-estate experience from over the years and served as chair of the board of the South Metro Denver Realtor Association.
See more on Hankins at tinyurl.com/PinesCandidates.
Mulvey wins in District 1
Mulvey and Rants ran against each other for the northwest city council seat because the city recently “redistricted,” or redrew the boundaries of the districts from which city councilmembers get elected.
“I lived on the north end of (District) 2, and after the boundary changes, I live on the south end of 1,” Rants told Colorado Community Media in an earlier interview. “A lot of the growth on the east side of the city had kind of disrupted the equal representation and balance (among) the three districts, so it was necessary to balance things out.”
Rants works at the Colorado Department of Public Safety, overseeing matters of management and accounting.
Mulvey said Rants called her the evening of Nov. 8 to congratulate her on her victory.
“Which was very gracious, and we had very good conversation — we’re going to be serving (together still) for a few months. We’ve got work to do,” Mulvey said.
“If I could thank every voter for having the confidence in me and for appreciating the work that all of city council does, I would do that,” Mulvey said.
Cole takes District 2 seat
Cole, who ran unopposed for the council seat in the western district, is retired after a decades-long career in government intelligence — the field of gathering information about foreign countries or other actors that are often adversaries of the United States.
Cole also served as president of the Douglas County Libraries Board of Trustees, the board that oversees and sets policy for the Douglas library district.
See more about Cole at tinyurl.com/RonColeBackground.