Dan Dugan, a political newcomer, appears poised to unseat two-term Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke in the race to represent District 6.
Dugan declined to declare victory on Friday, but it seems unlikely Luke could surpass his opponent’s 167-vote lead with the vast majority of ballots across Salt Lake County already counted, according to Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen.
“We’re in a good position and we’ll just wait it out now for the next week or so, I guess,” Dugan said, noting that he hadn’t yet spoken to Luke.
“While there are still votes to be counted, the Dugan campaign feels confident the results will hold and Dugan will be the next representative of Salt Lake City Council District 6,” his campaign said in a written statement Friday evening.
Luke, in a prepared statement, said that while the vote margin is currently outside the range of a recount, it is important to follow the election results to their conclusion.
“I want to make sure that the final count accurately reflects the decision of District 6 voters,” he said, “at which point I am completely comfortable with whatever that decision might be.”
Dugan has attributed his against-the-odds lead over the incumbent to his focus on knocking on a lot of doors and getting out his message to residents in the council district, which encompasses the East Bench, Wasatch Hollow and Foothill/Sunnyside neighborhoods.
Saying his success over the next four years will require a “team effort” with residents, he said he is eager to get started.
“I am hopeful we can work together with the new mayor to resist development that puts our public health at risk” — an apparent reference to the Inland Port, which he has sharply criticized — “press hard on clean air initiatives and to rewrite campaign finance rules that allow special interest to exert undue influence on our government.”
In another closely watched race, West Jordan City will start 2020 with a new form of government and a new mayor: Dirk Burton.
Updated vote counts Friday showed Burton had racked up 7,069 votes to 6,488 for Mayor Jim Riding, a 52.1% to 47.9% margin.
“It feels good,” Burton, a city councilman, said.
“I got a call from Jim Riding about 5 minutes ago and he has conceded,” Burton told The Tribune at about 2 p.m. Friday. “Jim says he’s willing to work with me in the transition.”
“I like to pull people together and work together.”
The victory for Burton means he will become a “strong mayor” in the new form of government, which voters agreed in an earlier election to adopt instead of the council-manager form it has operated under for years.
Dan Harrie contributed to this report.