Kellie Case Wins Heated Battle for Woodland Park’s Top Elected Seat

Residents Pick Second Female Mayor in Several Years

Trevor Phipps


On election night (the evening of April2), the parking lot at Crystola Roadhouse was packed and music was booming from outside the building.

Inside the crowded eatery, (a popular spot for political gatherings) featured a standing-room-only crowd, many of whom anxiously awaited to hear the results of the 2024 Woodland Park municipal election.


Shortly after the preliminary results were announced, the building echoed with ‘whoops and hollers’ as Mayor Pro Tem Kellie Case announced her victory in the mayoral race by a rather thin margin. In fact, the crowd got even more excited after learning that all five of the candidates present at the election watch party were victorious.


Case faced off against Jerry Penland, who is technically new to the political scene, but his name has been well known due to his leading role in the fight against short-term rentals. In a close race, Case’s 1,551 votes overcame Penland’s 1,357 tallies.


However, the city council race proved to not be so close. In fact, the winner that had the least amount of votes had over 400 more tallies than the candidate who received the fifth most amount of votes.


“I am going to make Woodland Park Woodland Park again!” shouted candidate Steve “Smitty” Smith after receiving his victory phone call.


And as the results have shown, Smith got the most amount of votes for city council at 1,818. George Jones was next best with 1,801 votes.


Coming in third place in the amount of council votes was Teri Baldwin with 1,753 votes. Smith, Jones and Baldwin all received four year terms while candidate Jeffrey Geer earned the two year term spot with 1,625 votes.


Out of the four candidates that didn’t get voted into office Councilman Frank Connors had the most with 1,181 votes. Tim Northrup received 1,148 votes, Eric Lockman locked down 1,129 and Don Dezellem earned 1,087.


The newly elected council members were sworn in last Thursday during the first official meeting in April. The new members on the dais mark a change in the local political atmosphere as most are new to city politics.


Meet the New Council Members


Case is the most seasoned council veteran out of all the candidates as she has already had a seat on the dais for the last six years. She was elected to city council twice (2018 and 2022) before earning the mayor position. Case has an extensive background dealing with the way municipalities operate as she was the city’s finance director for several years before running for office.


Smith has lived in the city for over three decades and is well known in the community for his years spent coaching at the high school. During the candidate forum, Smith told the crowd that he was a “man of action” as opposed to a “man of words.”


Jones is not new to the area either as he owns two downtown businesses, and he is a member of the city’s planning commission. During his campaign, Jones stressed the importance of responsibly managing future growth.


Baldwin has also volunteered in the city for quite some time as she has been an election judge and she is a member of the Woodland Park Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. “I am running for Council because my heart is hurting as I have watched the divisions in our community widen over the past few years,” Baldwin’s bio on the city’s website states.


Geer was probably the newest face that chose to vie for a seat on the dais. “We have serious challenges both short and long term that need serious solutions from serious people with input from the community,” Geer’s bio states. “What we absolutely do not need are outside agendas that seek to divide us by prioritizing their goals over ours, thus turning neighbor against neighbor.”


With the city’s new representatives, the climate at council meetings will most likely be much different than before. So far, the group of winners seem to be on the same page when it comes to several local issues.  That is quite a change from past councils.


But only time will tell if the group stays agreeable with the new subjects that the city will face over the coming months. One of the council’s first actions they will have to take is to address a lawsuit against the city’s new short-term rental ordinance that was filed on Election Day (For more details on this, visit and see the next forthcoming printed issue of TMJ).