Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson will formally declare on Friday her bid for the county mayor’s seat being vacated by Rep.-elect Ben McAdams, according to an announcement sent to the media on Thursday.
Wilson’s announcement will be made in the atrium of the Salt Lake County Government Center North Building at 10 a.m. Friday.
In 2004, Wilson became the first woman elected to the county council. She left the council in 2011 after an initial six-year term, before running again and being newly elected as an at-large member in 2014.
She ran for Salt Lake City mayor in 2007 but was knocked in the primary by Ralph Becker, who went on to serve two terms in the post, and Dave Buhler, now state commissioner of higher education.
She recently ran for U.S. Senate as the state’s Democratic nominee, losing to Republican Mitt Romney. Her Senate campaign focused on immigration policy and public lands, with Wilson emphasizing her work on the county’s Jordan River Parkway, including co-founding the Jordan River Commission.
After McAdams resigns the seat, state law directs the County Council to notify Democratic Party leadership about the vacancy, triggering a 30-day timeline for the party’s Salt Lake County Central Committee to vote on a replacement mayor.
McAdams previously told The Tribune that he intended to hold his mayoral seat until shortly before the beginning of his congressional term.
“Regardless of the outcome of this election, I will be the mayor through the end of the year and into January,” he said. “And I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Salt Lake County has seen a number of recent midterm replacements. In June, county Democrats chose Ann Granato to fill the County Council seat left vacant by the death of her husband, Sam Granato. And in 2017, Rosie Rivera was elected county sheriff after then-Sheriff Jim Winder left the county to accept the position of Moab Police chief.
The county’s former Republican recorder, Gary Ott, since deceased, was also replaced midterm by Adam Gardiner in 2017 after Ott resigned because of illness. Gardiner will leave the post next year after losing his election to Democrat Rashelle Hobbs.
Abby Laver, a spokeswoman for Wilson, declined to comment ahead of Friday’s announcement.