Three Republicans are after the Salt Lake County Council at-large seat held since 2001 by retiring Democrat Randy Horiuchi, whose chosen successor, Jenny Wilson, is looking to return to the council after a four-year absence.
A council member from 2005 to 2011, Wilson was the only Democratic candidate to file for the six-year seat by Thursday’s deadline. In November, she will square off against the survivor of a three-way GOP fight between Micah Bruner, Brett Helsten and Melvin Nimer.
The at-large race is one of three that could influence the Republicans’ five-to-four majority on the council.
In District 3, which covers the center of the Salt Lake Valley, Republican Aimee Winder Newton is the incumbent. But she has been in office only since January, when the County Republican Party picked her to replace Councilman David Wilde. He resigned to take a job in the county district attorney’s office.
Newton, previously a Taylorsville City employee, will be challenged in November by Democrat Daniel Snarr, the former Murray mayor best known for his flamboyant handlebar mustache.
District 1 has been a Democratic stronghold, with incumbent Arlyn Bradshaw pursuing a second term representing Salt Lake City neighborhoods. But Republican Richard D.M. Barnes filed Thursday to try to unseat him.
There will be a GOP runoff in District 5, where incumbent Councilman Steve DeBry faces an internal party challenge from Kit Erickson. No Democrat is running.
In two high-profile countywide races, Democrat Sim Gill’s desire to serve a second term as county district attorney is being challenged by Republican Steve Nelson, an attorney in the DA’s office.
Similarly, law enforcement veteran Jake Petersen, a Republican, is seeking to unseat the two-term incumbent sheriff, Democrat Jim Winder.
Only one of the county’s eight independently elected officials — Surveyor Reid Demman, a Republican — is uncontested in a bid for re-election.
The auditor’s position has generated considerable interest on both sides of the political aisle. Incumbent Greg Hawkins’ bid for a second term is being challenged by fellow Republican Scott Tingley, while two Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination — Jeff Hatch and Christopher Stout.
A fight also is shaping up in the assessor’s race.
Kevin Jacobs, a seasoned assessor’s office employee who was elevated to the top spot in September when long-time assessor Lee Gardner left for an LDS Church mission, is facing a runoff with Jake Parkinson, a deputy Tooele County assessor who lost to Jacobs last fall in a county Republican Party election.
Democrat Tyler Andrus, a senior statistical advisor in the assessor’s office, will be up against the winner.
The November pairings are set for Democrats and Republicans vying for the remaining independently elected positions.
In the clerk’s race, Democrat Sherrie Swensen’s pursuit of another term is being opposed by Republican Mary Amann.
Republican Gary Ott, who has been county recorder since 2001, will square off in November against Mary Bishop, a former county Democratic Party chairwoman.
Treasurer K. Wayne Cushing, a Republican, is running for a second term.
He will go up against Democrat Mike Fife.
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