In a year that brought a global pandemic, police protests, an earthquake and major elections, Salt Lake Tribune readers chose former Salt Lake City police officer and Utah Business Revival leader Eric Moutsos as the Utahn of the Year.
The Tribune’s unscientific reader poll drew more than 5,000 responses as of Thursday afternoon, with Moutsos receiving the top share of votes, at 51%. Moutsos led protests in 2020 against public health efforts implemented to control the spread of COVID-19, including a no-distancing country music concert that had to move twice before finding a home in Iron County. He and his group also held events in support of law enforcement and small businesses struggling to stay open during the pandemic.
As Moutsos rose in the poll throughout the week, he posted about his ranking on Facebook, drawing hundreds of comments from people in support.
Second place, at 18%, was Dr. Angela Dunn, the state epidemiologist, who has been the face of Utah’s coronavirus fight and led the call for residents to heed health guidelines by wearing marks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands.
Margarita Satini, an advocate who worked to ensure Utah’s Pacific Islander community had access to COVID-19 testing and resources, came in third at 11%. Satini died in October of complications after catching the coronavirus.
The pick of The Tribune’s top editors and editorial board, health care workers, who have served on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, came in fourth in the readers’ poll, at 8%.
Rounding out the top 10: Sen. Mitt Romney, at 2%; incoming Rep. Burgess Owens, 1.5%; Black Lives Matter Utah leader Lex Scott, 1.4%; small-business owners tied with the Kingsbury Hall fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during the October debate in Salt Lake City, 1%; Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell, 0.8%; and Utah’s schoolchildren and apostle Dallin H. Oaks, who is next in line for the presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both at 0.7%.