Hundreds of citizen-politicians hoping to rule their local towns and cities are official candidates following Tuesday's filing deadline. Leading the pack are Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini and Ogden Mayor Glenn Mecham, who hope for second four-year terms.
Towns that don't hold primary elections have a Sept. 26 candidate filing deadline. Oct. 3 is the primary election date; Nov. 7 the general election day.Corradini's race is the premiere contest in the state this year. She faces a former city commissioner, Stephen Harmsen, and a local attorney, Richard McKeown, as her main challengers.
Salt Lake City's slates are crowded; more people filed for mayor and for a west-side council seat than in any election since voters threw out the old commission form of government in 1979 and adopted the council-mayor form.
Corradini said she welcomes the challengers, saying the large crop of candidates shows a high level of interest in city government and "speaks well for what we've done the last four years."
Several heavyweight challengers to Corradini waited in the wings this spring, hoping the mayor would be snared by a federal grand jury investigating a business she was once associated with. But Corradini wasn't indicted - as she said all along she wouldn't be - and those would-be candidates never filed.
Sixteen candidates filed for the three Salt Lake council seats up for election. Council member Rose-lyn Kirk announced earlier she wouldn't seek re-election, and 10 people filed for that open seat. Council member Paul Hutchinson is being challenged by three people, including former Utah House member Joanne Milner. Council member Alan Hardman is challenged by community activist Deeda Seed.
Corradini said she's "curious" to hear her opponents' plans and visions for the city so voters can compare them with hers.
"I'm going to run this race on what I've done as mayor, what I've accomplished and what I think still needs to be done," Corradini said. "I need one more term to finish what I set out to do." She's putting off her official announcement party until Sept. 6, but the mayor's bid is well underway. She's put together a nonpartisan steering committee and raised nearly $200,000 for her second term race.
In keeping with the stable image of Bountiful politics, all three council incumbents are running for re-election. None are pushing any particular issue. William Moore has decided to go ahead and run for the Bountiful City Council position he was appointed to two years ago.
Also, incumbents Barbara Holt and Harold Shafter also filed to run again.
In Centerville, growth and preservation issues - especially a shopping center being built just off I-15 - are fueling the city council races. Two members of a citizens group that wants the shopping center stopped, the Concerned Citizens of Centerville, filed to challenge two incumbents running for re-election.
The two challengers from the citizens group are Steven W. Dutcher, the group's president, and Philip Raclawski, vice president. The incumbents running again are Francine Giani-Luczak and Mike Barton. Incumbent Ken Brown chose not to run.
The citizens group in July sent a request to the state attorney general's office asking for an investigation into city government. It charged some council members with a conflict of interest, violating the open meeting laws and other infractions. The investigation turned up nothing.
Kaysville city has six citizens seeking the three vacant council seats. Two newcomers - Brian D. Cook and Robert H. "Bob" Rees - filed for office within five minutes of the closing deadline. Incumbent Darrell Horne is seeking re-election, but David Bybee and Cherie Goodliffe are not.
Clearfield city had 12 citizens sign up as City Council candidates - the most in recent years. City officials say they know of no particular reason for the large number of candidates but stressed that all 12 people are citizens who are sincerely interested in seeking office. Council members Diane W. Layton and Donald M. Ormsby are both seeking re-election, but Paul E. Poorte is not.