When all the votes were counted, the prediction chalked on the board in the lobby of City Hall, "Unofficial Projection: Mayoral Winner - Anderson," came true.
But then, prognosticators weren't dancing too far out of line with the forecast. Mayor Brent Anderson, who didn't face a primary election, doesn't have any opponents to slow his re-election effort. Two candidates had filed to run against Anderson in the mayoral race, but both withdrew for personal reasons.Primary election results in Utah's second largest city didn't bring too many surprises in three City Council races, either, as Tuesday's voting pared a slate of thirteen hopefuls down to six candidates.
In West Valley's closest race, Margaret K. Peterson claimed 746 votes to fight for the two-year, at-large council seat with her former planning commission colleague, appointed incumbent Carroll A. Elford, who garnered 517.
In the other two races, political unknowns were propelled into the general election to face incumbent council members, both of whom claimed substantial primary victories. Joyce H. Jones earned the right to take on Gearld Wright for the four-year at-large seat; and Elaine C. Powell will vie with Janice Fisher for the District 4 chair.
No primary was needed for the District 2 race, but in the general election, district voters will decide between incumbent Councilman Duane R. Moss and challenger Susan G. Greathouse.
The atmosphere was low-key around City Hall on primary election night, where family members buffered candidates who waited for election results. Roughly 6.6 percent of the city's 28,660 registered voters marked ballots Tuesday.
City Manager John Newman, manning the chalkboard eraser as voting districts began reporting in, surveyed the complete but unofficial returns at 10 p.m. "Everyone I have talked to thought that was the way it was going to turn out," he said.
He admitted the city's political system is easy to figure out. "Look. Drive around town and count the signs."
Jones, who has attacked city leaders as too conservative, said she was excited to make it past the first election hurdle. She plans to catch her breath before plunging back into the battle. "When you reach one mountain, you've got to rest for a minute before you climb another."
At City Hall, Wright hugged his 1-year-old granddaughter, Emily, while waltzing to his easy primary victory. Wright was tired from an earlier, heated school board meeting. "I just took some mayonnaise and ate the tomatoes they threw at me," joked Wright, who sits on the Hunter High School boundary committee.
Powell said she's not worried to take on Fisher, the popular incumbent. "I think there's a lot of issues out there. I feel we can address all of them, and I think we can have a pretty good race."
Council District 4 includes the southwestern portion of the city, roughly from 4800 West to 7200 West, and from 2100 South to 4100 South, as well as the recent Hercules Hill annexation.
Fisher, who appeared nervous before the returns came in overwhelmingly in her favor, said her work for re-election has just begun. "We're going to take tomorrow off, then start all over and hit it hard."