COS councilor cites health concerns in decision not to seek re-election next year

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Stephannie Fortune

City Councilor Stephannie Fortune said in a release today that she won’t seek re-election next year due to serious health considerations.

“Cancer is never an easy word to reconcile with and this time is no exception,” Fortune said in the release. “Kent [her husband] and I learned in recent months that I have leukemia, and the cure is treatment and a bone marrow transplant, a very intensive process. The outpouring of support has been incredible, and truly is what sustains us along with our strong faith.

“I came to City Council full of excitement, with a drive to serve, and my love for the city and its people as my foundation. I discovered a rich environment to work with the constituents of District 3 and to have a strong voice together, influencing outcomes. It will be an experience I will always treasure.”

The release said Fortune intends to complete her term, which expires in April, but won’t seek re-election.

“She is in constant consultation with her husband, Kent, Council Leadership, City Administration, and her doctors to ensure her ability to fulfill her term and honor her commitment to the people she represents,” the release said. “If at any time, she feels she is not able to do that, she will have that discussion and determine next steps.”

“Councilmember Fortune is a dedicated public servant who serves our community with grace, dignity and enthusiasm for Colorado Springs and the people who call it home,” said Mayor John Suthers. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Stephannie and her family as she continues to work through this challenging time. We are grateful for her determination to continue and appreciate her transparency and commitment to keeping us and the community apprised of her condition.”

Fortune was appointed to fill the unexpired District 3 term of Richard Skorman, who resigned last year to tend to his businesses, which are emerging from impacts of the pandemic.

Her appointment was controversial, because she hadn’t lived in the west-, southwest-side district until a few weeks before she applied for the job.

A group dubbed Integrity Matters has been circulating recall petitions against Fortune. The deadline for submission is later this month. Asked for a comment, the group issued a lengthy release citing allegations against Fortune, but saying, “As a result of this news, we will be withdrawing the recall of Ms. Fortune.”

The group is also circulating petitions to recall Councilor Wayne Williams.

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