Fort Collins election 2021: Get to know the candidates and the issues


Fort Collins has a robust city election coming up April 6. Fourteen candidates are running in five City Council races, and there are two ballot issues of high community interest — what to do with the former Hughes Stadium land and whether to ban plastic bags at grocers. Plus, there are even a few charter amendments.

We’ve created this space to serve as a guide to the candidates and the issues on the April 2021 Fort Collins ballot. 

We’ll update this page with links to new stories throughout this election season, including race previews and campaign finance reports. And we’ve got Q&As with each of the candidates. As a public service, we’re making them free for anyone to read.

We can’t do our work without help from our subscribers, though. Please help support community journalism with a digital subscription to the Coloradoan: Click on the blue “subscribe” button at the top of this page.

How to cast a ballot in Fort Collins

The City Clerk’s Office will send ballots in the mail by March 19. They must be returned by 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 6. They can be mailed or dropped off at several locations across the city, shown on this map.

Check your voter registration here to make sure you get a ballot.

Council members are elected by district, and the mayor is elected citywide. Check which council district you live in here.

Who’s running for Fort Collins City Council

Check back with us on this page throughout election season for a preview of each race.

In preparation for our coverage, the Coloradoan sent a 20-item questionnaire to all Fort Collins City Council candidates, seeking their viewpoints and policy ideas about a range of city issues. We’re posting each candidate’s answers online without a paywall.

Candidates were asked to answer each question with as much specificity as possible and limit each answer to about 150 words. Below you can find their full Q&As, which have been lightly edited for clarity, AP style and length, if needed.

Many candidates also submitted opinion pieces about their platforms and motivations.

Mayor candidates

20 questions with each candidate:

In their own words:

District 1 candidates

20 questions with each candidate:

In their own words:

District 3

20 questions with each candidate:

In their own words:

District 4

20 questions with each candidate:

In their own words:

District 5

20 questions with each candidate:

In their own words:

If you want to see and hear the candidates virtually, a League of Women Voters election forum is set for March 10.

Hughes Stadium land

Voters will decide whether to direct the city of Fort Collins to purchase the former Hughes Stadium site from Colorado State University and zone the 165-acre site as 100% open lands.

Plastic bag ban

Voters will decide whether the city should ban single-use plastic bags in large grocers, effective May 2022 and institute a 12-cent fee for paper bags.

Charter amendments

Check back for a future story on what the five proposed charter amendments set out to accomplish.

In the meantime, you can see the ballot language for each charter amendment on the ballot here

Election opinion submissions 

Subscribers can visit to read endorsement letters of the candidates.

If you want to see your own endorsement of a City Council candidate or an opinion on one of the ballot issues published, here’s how to submit your Fort Collins city election endorsements to the Coloradoan.

Rebecca Powell is a content strategist at the Coloradoan, working to connect our community with the answers they seek. Contact her at

Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter: @jacymarmaduke.

We can’t do the important work of keeping our community informed without you. Support the work of Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.