Salt Lake City voters selected eight finalists for four City Council seats in Tuesday’s primary.
Erin Mendenhall, a young civic leader in the East Liberty neighborhood, emerged as the clear front-runner for the District 5 seat being vacated by veteran Councilwoman Jill Remington Love.
Mendenhall racked up 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. She’ll face Bill Davis, who finished with 17 percent, in November.
James M. Rogers finished on top in District 1 (Rose Park) with 42 percent of the vote. He’ll square off against Kevin Parke (23 percent) in the general election to see who succeeds outgoing Councilman Carlton Christensen.
Meanwhile, Lisa Ramsey Adams bested a crowded District 7 field for Councilman Soren Simonsen’s seat representing Sugar House, Brickyard Plaza and Country Club with 32 percent of the vote. A lawyer who has advocated for children, Adams narrowly lost to Simonsen four years ago when she was a political unknown. Since then, she has been appointed to the city’s Planning Commission.
She believes the recent 13.8 percent tax hike was too big and is concerned about the impacts of the proposed 1100 East streetcar extension.
“We need to do a better job of educating people on the process on that,” said Adams. “I would actually like to see better bus service. You can improve it without tearing up streets.”
For the November showdown, Adams will face with Kevin Paulson, who barely defeated Deb Henry, Amy Barry, Topher Horman for the second spot. Only 51 votes separated second and fifth place in that race.
Paulson is far more strident in his opposition to the 1100 East streetcar than Adams, as well as other plans to decrease traffic lanes in Sugar House.
“It’s self-defeating. The goal was to be a more environmentally friendly city, but it’s more pollution, more road rage and less safe,” said the engineer who lives near Canyon Rim. “I stand for more local control of zoning decisions and local development.”
He also opposes multimillion-dollar projects without voter approval.
In District 3 (Avenues, Capitol Hill, Federal Heights), Councilman Stan Penfold, executive director of the Utah AIDS Foundation, took 71 percent in his quest for a second term, far ahead of challenger Sherman W. Clow, who edged Aaron Johnson for the second spot by 18 votes.
At 17 percent, turnout was highest in District 1.
Council seats in Districts 2, 4 and 6 — along with the mayor’s post — were not up for election this year.