Primary elections: Out with old, in with new in Murray, one of many cities to pick candidates
Murray residents said Tuesday they want someone new.
Looking to replace retiring Dan Snarr after his 16 years as Murray's mayor, residents bypassed two current city councilmen in Tuesday's municipal primary election, advancing political newcomer Ted Eyre and longtime Salt Lake County Council member David Wilde to November's general election.
City councilman Jim Brass came closest to making the move up to mayor, but he finished about four dozen votes behind Wilde, who was a distant second behind Eyre. Another Murray councilman, Darren Stam, finished fourth.
Murray was one of six Salt Lake Valley cities that held primaries in their searches for new mayors. In four other cities, incumbent mayors survived primary challenges and will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Four-term Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini far outdistanced two rivals in Tuesday's primary, with David Fair holding a comfortable edge over Olga de la Cruz for the second spot on the ballot.
In South Salt Lake, Mayor Cherie Wood easily outdistanced her four competitors in a bid for a second term. A three-way logjam for the second spot apparently was won in the unofficial vote by Derk Pehrson, who finished two votes ahead of former councilman Shane Siwik and eight ahead of Nick Gosdis. With deficits that small, both results would be eligible for recounts.
Taylorsville provided one of the night's most interesting races. Voters will decide in November between Jerry Rechtenbach, a former city councilman who was elevated to mayor in January when Russ Wall resigned to become Salt Lake County's public works director, and Larry Johnson, another councilman who had cast the one vote against Rechtenbach's appointment.
Johnson captured the most votes in a close primary, finishing about 150 votes ahead of Rechtenbach.
Another mayor appointed to fill a mid-term vacancy, South Jordan's Scott Osborne, easily advanced to the general election. He finished first in a field of six candidates. Dave Alvord came in second, far ahead of third-place finisher Mark Woolley.
Interest in becoming a mayor was particularly high in West Jordan. Earlier this year, the council raised the position's pay to $89,500 from the $18,000 received by outgoing Mayor Melissa Johnson.
Consequently, nine candidates filed for the open position.
Unofficial results Tuesday night showed City Councilman Ben Southworth emerging on top with about 28 percent of the vote and Kim Rolfe also advancing with close to 20 percent.
In Draper, councilman Troy Walker finished first in the race to replace retiring Mayor Darrell Smith. Phillip Shell will join him on the ballot after outpolling John Dismuke.
Herriman voters, seeking to fill the mayoral position currently held by Joshua Mills, who is not running again, advanced Carmen Freeman and Michelle Baguley to the November election, eliminating Anthony DiConza and Teddy Hedges.
The race to replace Dennis Webb as Holladay mayor was boiled down to D. Blaine Anderson and Robert Dahle, who finished one-two in the four-way primary. Helen Redd and Holli Dunn were eliminated.
Roy mayoral primary eliminates teen
In the Weber County city of Roy, 18-year-old Joshua Hoggan failed to advance, attracting a few dozen votes. In April 2012, Hoggan pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon of mass destruction in a foiled bomb scheme at Roy High School and served time in a juvenile facility. Incumbent Joe Ritchie was the top vote-getter with about 53 percent and City Councilman Willard Cragun came in second with roughly 42 percent. Voter turnout was lackluster at less than 6 percent.