With the official candidate filing period closing at 5 PM Friday, it appears that three of Utah’s five largest cities will have new mayors after the election this November.
Mayor Mike Winder of West Valley City, Mayor Melissa K. Johnson of West Jordan City, and Mayor James T. Evans of Orem have not filed to be on the ballot in 5 months.
Of these, only Mayor Winder’s came as no surprise, as he recently announced that he would not be seeking another term. His decision came as the recent scandal swirling around the West Valley City Police Department’s narcotics division gathered steam, and dozens of narcotics cases were being thrown out. In addition, the department’s homicide division had announced they were closing the case on the Susan Cox Powell investigation.
With incumbents not seeking reelection, numerous challengers have stepped up to the plate. Five candidates have thrown their hat into the ring to be mayor of Orem, seven in West Valley City, and an amazing ten candidates currently appear on the ballot for mayor of West Jordan.
Historically, elections in odd numbered years have extremely low turnout. Utah, already a state which frequently shows up on the “lowest voter turnout nationwide” lists during high profile elections, typically only sees a handful of citizens turnout to choose the course of where their cities will go in the next four years.
Salt Lake City Mayor, Ralph Becker’s term does not expire until 2015. Provo Mayor, John Curtis, is up for reelection and has filed to be on the ballot. And Sandy’s Mayor, Tom Dolan, received a last minute challenger.
See the full Salt Lake County municipal candidate list below, or visit your county’s website if you’re outside of Salt Lake.