Endorsement: Chapa LaVia, Guzman for Aurora mayor in primary

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/26/2017 1:00 AM

Aurora will have a new mayor in 2017 and a crowded field has lined up for the opportunity to lead the state's second-largest city.

Four candidates will be on the ballot and five declared write-in candidates have made a primary necessary on Tuesday to whittle the list down to two to battle it out April 4. The former longtime mayor, Tom Weisner, resigned his post last fall for health reasons.

Many of the names on the ballot are well-known to Aurora voters. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, At-Large Alderman Richard Irvin and Sixth Ward Alderman Michael Saville all have been long involved in Aurora politics. Chapa LaVia was first elected to the state legislature as a Democrat in a district representing the city in 2002 and has won re-election -- usually uncontested -- every two years since. Irvin has been an at-large alderman for 10 years and has twice run unsuccessfully for mayor. Saville has been a ward alderman for more than 30 years. The fourth candidate, Rick Guzman, may not have the name recognition but he too has much government experience, including the last five years as the assistant chief of staff in Weisner's office.

Each candidate has strong ideas on how to lead the city and improve its economic fortunes -- whether it's to continue the redevelopment of downtown or outlying areas. Keeping crime in check is key to all the campaigns, but Guzman can claim the support of two retired Aurora police chiefs as being best suited to improve upon current successes.

Of the three elected officials running, we think Chapa LaVia, who has been a hardworking legislator for the area and has the background and contacts necessary to successfully move into the mayor's office, deserves a shot at doing so on April 4. Guzman, meanwhile, offers voters the starkest difference in style and tone, which we like and he, too, is endorsed in the primary. He makes a strong case that the successes he already can point to as a leader in that office would translate if he were the top person in charge.

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