Amid speculation about the next move of the Salt Lake County Republican Party in the wake of Nancy Workman's withdrawal from the county mayoral race, the three remaining candidates — Democrat Peter Corroon, independent Merrill Cook and write-in Ellis Ivory — debated land-use, partisanship and other issues at a Salt Lake Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday.
Cook — despite his frequent self-identification as Republican — touted his contention that the mayor's office should be nonpartisan. Corroon said he will pursue a bipartisan administration. Ivory was unashamedly in favor of the political system.
"The two-party system works," Ivory said.
Ivory conceded not many can do what he is trying to do — run a campaign without contributions while declining to draw a salary should he win. But he said it's the right thing to do in the current situation.
"The root of the problems in the county is money," he said.
Corroon, on the other hand, said a salary can help spur performance — in his words, "hold their feet to the fire."
Cook has repeatedly decried "developers having a desk in the mayor's office." But Ivory vigorously denies the implication that he — a former developer — would use his influence as mayor to promote big business and development at the expense of other things.
Corroon said, "We're spending a lot of time developing developments but not a lot of time developing communities."