Incumbent Salt Lake County Council member Shireen Ghorbani conceded in her race against Republican opponent Laurie Stringham on Monday evening after a neck-and-neck battle for the at-large seat.
Ghorbani said in an email sent to supporters on Monday that she lost the election by 1,196 votes — just 0.024% of the 508,000 votes cast in the election.
“I congratulate Laurie Stringham as the next Salt Lake County Councilwoman in this seat,” Ghorbani wrote. “Her success is the county’s success, and I could not be more proud of the thousands of county employees who have stepped up to serve our community through an unprecedented pandemic and who regularly serve their community with dedication.”
Stringham wrote on Facebook that she received a call from Ghorbani on Monday evening conceding the race.
“This had to be a difficult thing for her to do,” she wrote. “I am grateful for her service to Salt Lake County.”
Ghorbani took her seat on the council last year to fill out the unexpired term of Jenny Wilson, who replaced Ben McAdams as Salt Lake County mayor when McAdams was elected to Congress. On Monday, McAdams also conceded his reelection race to Republican Burgess Owens, who will represent Utah’s 4th Congressional District in Congress next year. Wilson won her election.
Ghorbani, a Democrat, said in her Monday statement that she was not alone in her loss as down-ballot candidates in Utah and elsewhere were affected by this year’s contentious presidential race.
“Certainly, while I am grateful we will have a Biden-Harris administration come 2021, Democrats must grapple with these local and state losses, especially as Biden won Salt Lake County,” she said. “Over 37,000 did not continue down the ballot.”
With Ghorbani’s loss, this moves the nine-member County Council to a 6-3 Republican majority.