Pleasant Grove mayoral candidate Grant Loader has a decidedly low-budget campaign in Utah County. A list of his civic activities delivered to the Deseret News was handwritten on a half sheet of blue stationery on which was printed "Charity Never Faileth, Grove Creek 10th Ward Relief Society."
Contrast that with Orem mayoral candidate Joe Nelson and Orem City Council hopeful Bill Peperone who have gone high tech. Their entire platforms appear on the Internet. And Provo mayoral candidate Lewis K. Billings has his own Web site plus his own campaign headquarters not to mention his own stationery.Candidates for municipal office in Utah County run the gamut from big spenders to penny pinchers. Of course, they all have the same goal in mind in what has been a wide-open election season. A number of incumbents fell by the wayside in the primary election and in party nominating conventions. Others decided not to run. New faces will dot many city councils and mayors' offices.
Nastiness has emerged in some campaigns, but it isn't necessarily coming from the candidates. Overzealous supporters have taken it upon themselves to discredit candidates they don't like.
Controversial first-term Provo Mayor George Stewart isn't seeking re-election in Utah Valley's largest city. His former chief administrative officer Billings and City Councilman Karl J. Thalman are battling for the job, spending nearly $50,000 (Thalman - $25,834, Billings - $24,015) between them.
Billings was the target of a series of attack ads questioning his character this past week. The ads didn't come from Thalman, who shed tears in a debate and says he's running a peaceful campaign.
Although the Thalman-Billings race is the most expensive in the county, it isn't necessarily the most exciting.
Even without embattled Mayor Jess Green, the race in American Fork took an ugly twist last week. A cousin of mayoral candidate Ricky Storrs allegedly assaulted the editor of the American Fork Citizen because the newspaper endorsed Storrs' opponent, Ted Bar-ratt. Storrs, a city councilman, and Barratt both promise to restore order to the politically challenged city.
In Springville, millionaire mayoral candidate Hal Wing was likened to Hitler in a letter to the editor. He, Calvin Bird and David Fuller are in a three-way race to succeed outgoing Mayor Delora Ber-telsen.
Orem Mayor Stella Welsh is among several incumbents trying to stave off strong challenges. Joe Nelson outpolled Welsh 3 to 2 in the primary.
Utah's oldest mayor, Spanish Fork's Marie Huff, will have a tough time with Dale R. Barney. And the Utah League of Cities and Town's outstanding elected official, Payson Mayor Russell Hillman, also could be ousted by challenger Gordon S. Taylor.