West Valley City mayor’s race headed for recount
Elections • Recount in S. Salt Lake mayor race also a possibility.
Published: August 28, 2013 11:09AM
Updated: February 14, 2014 11:33PM
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Paul Fraughton | The Salt Lake Tribune West Valley City Councilwoman Karen Lang is running for mayor.

Official results from the Aug. 13 primary election show West Valley City’s mayoral race is headed for a recount.

Unofficial results on election night showed Ron Bigelow with 1,989 votes, Karen Lang with 1,053 and Don Christensen with 1,018, indicating Bigelow and Lang would advance to the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

But official results released Tuesday by the county clerk’s office showed a final tally of 1,103 for Lang and 1,090 for Christensen. That 13-vote gap is close enough to let Christensen request a recount, which is exactly what he’ll do, he said Tuesday.

Under state election law, amended by the Legislature this year, candidates can file a recount request if they lose by one-fourth of 1 percent or less of the total number of votes cast in their race — that’s 15 votes in Christensen’s case, 16 if you round up.

Elsewhere in Salt Lake County, official results for the South Salt Lake mayor’s race show former City Councilman Shane Siwik still hot on the heels of first-time candidate Derk Pehrson, the No. 2 vote-getter behind incumbent Mayor Cherie Wood.

The final tally of the Aug. 13 primary results shows Wood with 702 votes, Pehrson with 257 and Siwik with 255. A total of 1,512 votes were cast for the city’s six mayoral candidates.

With the vote so close, Siwik has three days under state law to request a recount. Reached Tuesday night, Siwik said he wanted to sleep on it, talk to his family and would decide by noon Wednesday whether to pursue the recount.

“I feel honored to have run a race that tight with two other good men in this community,” Siwik said, referring to Pehrson and Nick Gosdis, who came in a close fourth with 240 votes.

The Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office, which handled the election for the 13 cities in the county that held primaries, sent out its final vote counts to the municipalities on Tuesday. The city councils, sitting as their municipalities’ Board of Canvassers, met Tuesday night to certify the results.

The nonpartisan primary narrowed the candidate fields for mayoral and city council seats to two in each race. Those finalists are facing off in the Nov. 5 general election.

Three of Salt Lake County’s 16 cities did not have primaries because just one or two candidates filed to run for each of the open seats.

Results

To view the official vote tallies from the Aug. 13 municipal primary elections, visit http://bit.ly/RbPsO