When we last left former El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, she was still reeling from having been narrowly eliminated from the runoff in the Colorado Springs mayoral race on April 4th by ex-Secretary of State Wayne Williams–both of whom were trounced in turn by political newcomer and local businessman Yemi Mobolade. Despite being edged out by Williams by a sufficient margin to not qualify for an automatic recount, Clark requested information on what it would cost for a Tina Peters-style “vanity recount” as she delayed accepting the inevitable.
Yesterday, as the Colorado Springs Independent’s Pam Zubeck reports, Sallie Clark took a much more sensible–and potentially more influential–path by, instead of a time-wasting recount, throwing her support behind Mobolade:
Clark appeared in front of City Hall in her signature red suit and said, “Yemi is the only one in the race who will look at things with a fresh perspective, with a willingness to challenge the status quo.”
…Mobolade described Clark, a former El Paso County commissioner and Springs City Council member, as a “gifted government leader” who has “stood up for our community.”
“The city is a better place because of her leadership,” he said. “We both believe it’s time our families and neighborhoods deserve a better voice, that government can work for all of us and not a privileged few.”
Quoting the late President Ronald Reagan, Mobolade said it’s time for ordinary citizens to step into the arena to bring fresh air of common sense to the game.
“Today is a new day in Colorado Springs,” he said.
Clark’s endorsement of Mobolade comes as Williams’ campaign ramps up the negative attacks on Mobolade ahead of next month’s runoff election. The endorsement of a conservative Republican who split the conservative vote in the April 4th election with Williams greatly helps Mobolade going into the runoff, and gives Yemi a powerful counterargument to Williams’ shrill attacks characterizing Mobolade as some kind of “socialist.”
Although Williams would greatly prefer to lump Mobolade in with traditional leftist boogeymen, the reality is that Mobolade is not a product of the Democratic political establishment in the state, and rose to prominence in this race entirely on his own. Mobolade appears by all accounts to be a legitimate political outsider, whose personality and energy have earned him status as a viable alternative to old-school conservatives like Williams and Sallie Clark. And as the April 4th election revealed, voters in Colorado Springs are quite a bit more dissatisfied with their conservative municipal status quo than outsiders may realize.
This is all taking place in the context of raging internal conflict among the local Republican Party, which we’ve documented extensively in this space and has only been exacerbated by the controversial tenacity of El Paso County chair Vickie Tonkins and the rise of state party chairman Dave Williams. Just yesterday, the Colorado Federation of Republican Women booted Tonkins for supposedly failing to support Republican candidates in the 2022 elections. The chaos reigning throughout the local and state Republican organizations leaves Wayne Williams on his own at the moment he needs party unity the most.
If Republicans can’t even hold it together in their stronghold of Colorado Springs, what does that say about the Colorado Republican Party’s avowed strategy to “go local” and rebuild from municipal races upward across the state?