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Rolly: It's good to be mayor in an election year

Published August 8, 2013 5:54 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's good to be the incumbent mayor during an election year. You get to use your office and city resources to promote yourself for free while an opponent would have to spend thousands to buy that kind of publicity.

Take, for example, Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, who is being challenged by tax attorney Peyton Robinson.

Cottonwood Heights is one of the cities that will have voting exclusively by mail this year. There is a lengthy explanation of the process on the city's webpage, going through the pros and cons of voting by mail.

The explanation is not written by the city manager, or the city recorder. It's written by Mayor Cullimore, under his byline.

Included in the explanation is a lengthy discourse on all the things Cottonwood Heights is doing right.

That's one way to get your name out there.

Then there is the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council's Facebook page that had promoted "The Music Man," sponsored by the Arts Council and performed at Brighton High School recently.

The Facebook page featured a "character of the day" and the actor playing that character.

Late last month, the character of the day was "the train conductor," performed by none other than the good mayor. The several-minute video about the train conductor was actually a monologue by Cullimore himself, talking about the privilege of acting in the play and why the train conductor is such a good part for him because, as mayor, he is conducting the city, showing his leadership, just like the train conductor.

The video was preserved on YouTube.

And not only does the publicity cost the mayor nothing, he doesn't have to report it as an in-kind campaign contribution.

Because he's the mayor.

Bigger tent than you think • The Utah Democratic Party, in an email to supporters, is thrilled to have Nevada Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis appear at a "fireside chat" Saturday.

"Senator Denis is Latino, he's LDS, and he's a rising star in our Democratic Party," gushed State Democratic Party Vice Chair Josie Valdez.

The Democrats have been working overtime to convince Utah voters they can be Mormons and Democrats. They have pushed hard the idea that the Democrat Party is the one that promotes LDS values and the fact that Denis is also Latino gives him added star power among the Latino Mormon community.

But there's one more illuminating aspect to Denis' political persona.

He has been a close political ally to Republican Sen. Curt Bramble of Provo, former majority leader in the Utah Senate.

Bramble and Denis have worked together on immigration issues through the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Bramble assisted Denis in his recent efforts to pass legislation creating the Nevada Drivers Authorization Card, which is identical to the Utah Driving Privilege Card that Bramble and House Speaker Becky Lockhart pushed through the Utah Legislature in 2005.

The card is issued to residents who do not have the necessary identification papers to obtain a formal state-issued driver license, but puts the drivers in a data base where they can be tracked, and verifies they have insurance.

Call it a true bipartisan effort.

Oh, and Denis is the cousin of Republican Florida Senator and tea party favorite Marco Rubio.

prolly@sltrib.com