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Ninja-Bear-Cowboy contest used as tiebreaker in Crested Butte election

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Colorado at its best is a combination of the weird and the wonderful. And so is the story of how a tied vote for the Crested Butte town council was settled -- by a wicked game of Ninja Bear Cowboy.

According to the Crested Butte News, two candidates, Roland Mason and Phoebe Wilson each tallied 317 in a recent election. That was enough to win both of them a seat -- but one of them was to receive a four-year term, while the other would serve for just two.

How to decide? Colorado law calls for ties to be broken by "lot," which usually translates to a flipped coin or a drawn card. But Mason had a better idea...

Back in college, he used to play Ninja Bear Cowboy, a variation on Rock Paper Scissors, with contestants striking a pose to simulate one of the title characters. The rules, as spelled out by writer Mark Reaman: Ninja disarms Cowboy, Bear mauls Ninja, and Cowboy shoots Bear. And so, with an audience of about ten people looking on, Mason and Wilson got to vogueing.

The results, as described in an official town document:

"Round One: Mason bear; Wilson bear: outcome -- tie.

"Round Two: Mason cowboy; Wilson bear: outcome -- Mason wins.

"Round Three: Mason bear; Wilson ninja: outcome -- Mason wins.

"Final outcome: Mason wins a four-year seat. Wilson gets a two-year seat."

And Crested Butte gets two council members who clearly represent Colorado at its best.

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