Ann Granato, the newest member of the Salt Lake County Council, has had a hectic couple of days.
Monday, she was elected by Democratic delegates in Council District 4 to fill the vacancy left by the recent death of her husband, two-term Councilman Sam Granato. She did it by beating Darlene McDonald, a former congressional candidate, in a 59-41 vote.
Tuesday morning, Granato attended her first county meeting — involving a trash transfer station. At 1:30 p.m. that day she was sworn into office by County Clerk Sherrie Swensen.
Just hours later she took her first vote on a controversial zoning change clearing the way for a planned development of nearly 8,800 homes in the southwest part of the county — a high-density project that neighboring city mayors and residents fiercely oppose.
Granato voted with the majority in approving the plan, which passed 7-1.
“She’s hitting the ground running,” said senior policy adviser Leslie Reberg, who said it made sense for Granato to vote for the project because “Democrats realize density is necessary.”
Granato’s just getting started, though — not just on council matters but also in running for election.
She filed as a candidate Wednesday and faces another election at the end of the month when Democratic central committee members will pick the party nominee to appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Presumably, Republicans also will pick a nominee.
The new interim council member hasn’t been involved in running for office before except to assist her late husband of 43 years, who was the Democratic nominee in 2010 in the U.S. Senate race against Mike Lee.
Ann Granato has a background in health care and works in Medicaid management with the Utah Department of Health. She also has played an active part in the Granatos business of Italian delis, markets and whole food distribution, handling the books for the company.