A doctor, a banker. A pickleballer, a builder. A Coke drinker, a lefty. Meet S.L. County’s two new council members.

Democrat Suzanne Harrison and Republican Sheldon Stewart share why they ran, what needs to change and what they hope to accomplish.

New Salt Lake County Council members Suzanne Harris, left, and Sheldon Stewart.

The Salt Lake County Council will welcome two new members Tuesday, giving Republicans a slimmer 5-4 majority than they previously held on the partisan, nine-member council.

Democrat Suzanne Harrison ousted Republican Richard Snelgrove, a two-term incumbent, in the general election, flipping a critical countywide seat in what was the most expensive County Council race on record. By doing so, Harrison eliminated the GOP supermajority on the council and handed Utah Democrats perhaps their most significant win of 2022.

In the June primary, Republican Sheldon Stewart ousted District 5 council member Steve DeBry, earning the seat that represents the southwest portion of the county.

As Harrison and Stewart prepare to take their oaths Tuesday, we asked them tell our readers a little more about themselves. Here is what they said (slightly edited for clarity):

Suzanne Harrison

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Suzanne Harrison touts Tier 3 gas in October 2021. It's a cause she plans to push as a Salt Lake County Council member.

Age • Not happening! :)

City of residence: Draper.

Occupation • Medical doctor — physician anesthesiologist at Riverton Hospital.

Other community associations (boards, committees, etc.) • Canyons Education Foundation Board member, KUER Advisory Board, Envision Utah board of directors.

Previous governing experience • State representative for what was formerly Utah’s 32nd House District from 2018 to 2022.

Favorite hobby • I enjoy getting outside with my family. Whether it’s playing pickleball (very poorly), going on walks with our dog, or riding our bikes, being out in nature with the people I love makes me very happy.

One fun fact about you • I love Diet Coke.

One politician you admire • The late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Several years ago my husband and I visited Vietnam and saw the prison where he was held and repeatedly tortured as a prisoner of war. It was deeply moving. I admire his service and love for our country. He spoke clearly and did what he thought was right, even when it wasn’t easy or popular.

What inspired you to run for County Council?

As a mom and a medical doctor, I am passionate about serving my community and helping people. I loved serving in the Utah House, where I focused on making health care more affordable, cleaning up our air, conserving our water, and improving government transparency. So many people are struggling right now with cost of living and other challenges. I realized the county was a place I could help even more of my neighbors and have an impact.

What is something you think the county should change?

Many residents don’t know how county government functions. People may go to the library or the local recreation center, which the county operates, but they don’t know that the county also plays a major role in emergency response and public safety. I hope to get out in the community and listen to what people want from their local government and how we can best meet the needs of a diverse community.

What is the biggest problem the county faces, and how would you suggest solving it?

I spoke with many voters who feel priced out of our housing market or concerned that their kids and grandkids will never be able to afford to buy a home in our community. Salt Lake County has been in a housing crisis for quite some time and while the county government has limited options for influencing the market, it can and should work to increase the number of affordable housing units. The county has allocated funding for affordable housing and should continue this investment. One option is to condition more of its investments in municipal redevelopment agencies on the inclusion of affordable housing units in those projects.

What’s the first thing you want to accomplish on the council?

The county has a large and complex budget, and I plan to dig in, get to work, listen, and learn. I have met with the budget director and will meet with department heads. I also plan to meet with each mayor in the county to listen and find ways to work together. Working regionally is critical to helping address the needs of residents.

What else would you like to accomplish in your first year as a council member?

I’ll continue to advocate for clean air and a more affordable cost of living in Salt Lake County. I have a track record of leading out on policies that prioritize clean air and common sense. On the County Council, I will continue to advocate for the transition to cleaner fleets, Tier 3 gas, and will oppose the mine in Parleys Canyon. As a legislator, I proposed a longer pilot program for free fare transit, and I support Gov. Spencer Cox’s proposal for a one-year zero fare pilot for transit.

How would you describe your ability to work across the aisle?

During my time in elected office, I have built a track record of working across the aisle and being a team player because working together matters to me. In the Legislature, I was a moderate, independent voice and was dedicated to being collaborative, having Republican co-sponsors on every piece of legislation I ran. I plan to bring that same spirit to the Salt Lake County Council. In the weeks since the election, I’ve made a point of connecting with each member of the County Council to start building relationships and finding common ground. I won’t let politics get in the way of helping.

Sheldon Stewart

(Sheldon Stewart) Sheldon Stewart plans to tackle subsidies to the United Police Department as a member of the Salt Lake County Council.

Age • 47.

City of residence • Riverton.

Occupation • Bank executive.

Other community associations (boards, committees, etc.) • Unified Fire Authority and South Valley Services.

Previous governing experience • 11 years on the Riverton City Council.

Favorite hobby • Working with my hands to build things.

One fun fact about you• I am left-handed.

One politician you admire • Abraham Lincoln.

What inspired you to run for County Council?

A better voice was needed to represent the interests of the southwest portion of our county.

What is something you think the county should change?

Subsidies to agencies that only benefit a small portion of our county.

What is the biggest problem the county faces, and how would you suggest solving it?

We have uncontrolled spending, and we continue to grow it instead of controlling it.

What’s the first thing you want to accomplish on the council?

Address the subsidies to the Unified Police Department. UPD is not self-sufficient, charges the county 20% of its total budget and calls it “shared services” when the services are only benefiting UPD members, but the bill is held by all county residents.

What else would you like to accomplish in your first year as a council member?

Addressing the budgeting process and increasing transparency in spending.

How would you describe your ability to work across the aisle?

I don’t see why it can’t happen. We need to publish strategic priorities and understand theirs.