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Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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What about that third Mormon running for president?

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are not the only Mormons making a bid for the highest office in the land.

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Yeah Samake is the front-runner in Mali's 2012 presidential election.

Samake, who was born into poverty in that Western African nation, joined the LDS Church in the U.S. and eventually graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree iu public policy.

He returned to his home in 2009 and was elected the mayor of Ouelessebougou, with 86 percent of the vote.

He was able to improve that city's economic development by increasing the tax collection rate from 10 percent to 68 percent, according to his campaign materials. "He accomplished this by increasing citizen participation through a tribal council system, and by challenging the culture of corruption."

Samake's wife, Marissa Coutinho Samake, met her husband eight years ago in Utah. He told her he wanted to be president of his country, she writes. She told him she wanted to be the next Madonna.

Today, Marissa writes, "Yeah is closer to his dream."

Peggy Fletcher Stack

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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