Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Jeremy Harmon | The Salt Lake Tribune) Seth Horowitz votes at the Kearns-St. Ann Catholic school in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, August 13, 2013.
Primary elections: Lang, Bigelow go on in West Valley City mayoral race

In the council race, it’s a math teacher against a city planner.

First Published Aug 13 2013 08:17 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:32 pm

Unofficial returns in a Tuesday primary put former Utah state budget director Ron Bigelow and West Valley City Council member Karen Lang in a contest to become mayor of the state’s second-largest city.

The results also put Lang in a position to become West Valley’s first female mayor if she wins in the Nov. 5 general election.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Bigelow came out ahead in a group of seven candidates running for mayor and Lang came in second, just a handful of votes ahead of City Council member Don Christensen.

In the battle for an at-large City Council seat, math teacher Lars Nordfelt, 45, and West Valley City Planning Commission Chairman Phil Conder, 47, advanced to the general election.

The primary winners will face off in the Nov. 5 general election.

Restoring trust in the West Valley City police Department was a priority of candidates running for office this year in the 133,000-population community.

Bigelow, 64, said he believes residents felt his background, which includes 16 years representing West Valley City in the Utah Legislature, would help him resolve the police situation and other issues.

Lang, 53, owner of Oakbridge Greenhouse, said she thinks voters recognize that she is invested in the community. "I hope it’s my business sense and community involvement that has gotten their confidence," she said.

The incumbents did not run for a second term. Mayor Mike Winder cited the need for a full-time job to support his family; the at-large seat was held by Christensen.

Other candidates for mayor were current council member Tom Huynh, former council member Margaret Peterson, businessman Jeffrey Mackay and Alex Segura, an electrical controls engineer and co-founder of the Utah Minutemen. Joe Garcia, a member of the West Valley City Planning Commission, was the third candidate in the council race.


story continues below
story continues below

Two other council seats are up for election but there was no primary for them because just two candidates filed in each race. The contenders for the District 2 seat are incumbent Steve Buhler and Jeff White; in District 4, incumbent Steve Vincent and Mary Jayne Newton-Davis will face off in the general election.

The vote on Tuesday was residents’ first chance to begin stepping out from under the shadow of controversy over some police officers’ conduct and look ahead to their city’s future.

On Thursday, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced that the use of deadly force by two West Valley police detectives who shot and killed an unarmed woman was not justified. Gill’s office is screening possible criminal charges against the officers, who deny any wrongdoing in the November shooting of 21-year-old Danielle Willard.

The police department also has been criticized for alleged mishandling of evidence that led to the dismissal of 125 drug cases and its handling of the case of missing West Valley mother Susan Powell.

Longtime police chief Thayle "Buzz" Nielsen retired in March; West Valley officials conducted a nationwide search for his replacement and say they are close to hiring someone for the job.

In addition to restoring community trust in law enforcement, the candidates have focused on other issues, including business recruitment; the budget and taxes; the crime rate; improving neighborhoods; code enforcement and protecting property owner rights; streamlining operations; and government openness.

Bigelow said getting a new chief will help restore confidence in the police. He also said he will boost economic development and use his budgeting background to make the city stronger.

Lang wants to streamline city operations and said she will plan responsibly for growth.

pmanson@sltrib.com

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC



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

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.