Freak Power and How Aspen Could’ve Been Renamed ‘Fat City’
The late Hunter S. Thompson has been immortalized in American culture in numerous ways. He has left his mark on the history books by means of the quasi-autobiographical films Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Where the Buffalo Roam, and The Rum Diary, as well as countless books and written works published during and after his lifetime.
Hunter S. Thompson lived a fairly quiet life near Aspen, Colorado during his final years, but he raised quite a stink back in 1970 with a run for the town’s mayor that he, surprisingly, barely lost.
Hunter S. Thompson Enters the Colorado Political Ring
Hunter S. Thompson grew up in Kentucky but called Colorado’s Pitkin County his home for the majority of his life. He lived on a piece of property just down the street from the Woody Creek Tavern that he called ‘Owl Farm.’
Thompson was not shy about voicing his political opinions and after managing the Aspen mayoral campaign of biker Joe Edwards in 1969 and losing, he decided to throw his own hat in the ring and ran for mayor himself the following year.
Freak Power in Aspen Colorado
Like Edwards before him, Thompson ran on a platform he came up with himself dubbed ‘Freak Power’ which included a lot of wild and crazy ideas.
Thompson promised that if elected, he would change Aspen’s name to ‘Fat City,’ tear up all of the roads with jackhammers and replace them with sod, outlaw hunting and fishing to non-residents, disarm the police, and effectively legalize all drugs but outlaw the sale of them.
In fact, Thompson specifically said:
Drug Sales must be controlled. My first act as Sheriff will be to install, on the courthouse lawn, a bastinado platform and a set of stocks in order to punish dishonest dope dealers in a proper public fashion. Each year these dealers cheat millions of people out of millions of dollars ... it will be the general philosophy of the Sheriff’s office that no drug worth taking should be sold for money.
As you can probably guess, Thompson lost the election, but you may be surprised to learn that it was actually pretty close. The final count was 173 votes for Thompson compared to his opponent’s 204 votes.