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GOP letter of protest targets mayor's exit

Panel member also opposes putting Ivory on the ballot

A member of the body that will decide whether to place Ellis Ivory on the ballot for Salt Lake County mayor has filed a letter of protest about the excuse of "mentally disabled" that Nancy Workman used to remove her name from the ballot.

Mike Ridgway, a member of the Salt Lake County Republican Party's Central Committee, filed the letter Friday with Workman's attorneys. In it, he expressed concerns that even if the doctor's note obtained by Workman to remove her name from the ballot meets the legal review of the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office, he is not as confident that it will "withstand judicial review or, for that matter, the scrutiny of the general voting public." Ideally, he would like Workman to admit she is mentally disabled and to get a valid doctor's note.

In addition to sending the letter, Ridgway said he has also organized more than 30 people to co-sponsor a resolution opposing replacing Workman on the ballot with Ivory. The central committee plans to meet Tuesday to decide whether Ivory, whom the party endorsed as their candidate before Workman removed herself from the race, should be placed on the ballot.

Workman "has done nothing to convince the skeptical voters out there . . . about the reality of her disability," Ridgway said. "It's not fair for Ellis Ivory or anyone else to be cast under that shadow of suspicion."

Tiani Coleman, chairwoman of the county Republican Party, said she is confident that as long as enough people come to the meeting, Ivory will be certified by the party. However, because some committee members are upset about Workman's exit, she expects the issue to be part of the discussion.

"We can see there's strong support for placing Ivory on the ballot," she said. "But we have an open process, and we don't engage in back-room deals. It's an issue that's on the minds of a few, and it will probably come up."

Meanwhile, the Utah Democratic Party hosted county Councilmen Randy Horiuchi and Joe Hatch Friday morning. The two "connected the dots" between recent county government scandals, ending up with a drawing of an elephant, a long-time symbol of the Republican Party.

"I stand before a county government that is at its lowest point ever," Horiuchi said in a statement. "What's . . . maddening is that when you look back at the rogues' gallery of former county elected officials from Ted Cannon to Doug Short and Mary Callaghan that almost brought county government to the brink of extinction — are all, ironically, Republican."

David Jordan, the attorney who is representing Workman on the civil aspects of her case, was out of town Friday and unavailable for comment.

Contributing: Tyler Peterson; E-mail: