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Here’s what you need to know about August’s primary elections in Salt Lake County

Five cities will have them — with four vying to be West Valley City’s next mayor — while 10 have skipped the primary process by opting for ranked-choice voting this year.

West Valley City mayoral candidates, clockwise from top left, include Arnold M. Jones, Tom Huynh, Karen Lang and Steve Buhler.

West Valley City — Utah’s second most-populous city and the largest one holding primary elections this year — has three City Council members and one political newcomer vying to become mayor.

The city’s current mayor, Ron Bigelow, opted not to seek reelection.

Steve Buhler, the longest-serving council member running to replace him, was elected in 2009 and works as an attorney.

Candidate Karen Lang was elected to the council in 2011 and previously served on the city’s Planning Commission and tree committee. She owns Oakbridge Greenhouse.

Tom Huynh, also elected to the council in 2011, is a refugee from Vietnam who immigrated to the United States in 1988. He works as a “small-business investor,” according to his campaign website.

The only non-City Council member seeking the nonpartisan mayor’s office, Arnold M. Jones, is a Navy veteran and a small-business owner, according to his candidate profile. Jones has not held public office before but ran an unsuccessful Republican bid in 2018 against Democratic Rep. Sandra Hollins to represent Utah House District 23.

In addition to the mayor’s race, seats in City Council Districts 2 and 4 are up for grabs this year, in addition to an at-large seat. Only District 2 has a primary. Candidates for that office are Chris Bell, Scott Harmon and Philip Wayman.

Municipal elections in Salt Lake County are nonpartisan, and primaries are typically held to narrow the field of candidates to two for each office up for election.

A number of cities in the county, however, opted to try a ranked-choice voting pilot program this year, including Salt Lake City, Sandy, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Midvale, South Salt Lake, Millcreek, Bluffdale, Riverton and Magna Metro Township. Those cities will not have primaries.

Here’s what else you need to know about this year’s Aug. 10 primaries:

• Aug. 9: Last day mail-in ballots must be mailed and postmarked to be counted.

• Aug. 10: Primary election day. Ballots can be deposited at any of the county’s 19 drive-up drop boxes until 8 p.m. Voters also can hand off their ballots in person at one of the county’s seven voting centers from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In addition to West Valley City, the following Salt Lake County municipalities will have primary races:

• Herriman: Lorin Palmer, Jared Esselman, Clint Smith and Nicole Grange are running for mayor.

• Murray: Clark Bullen, Adam Kent Fitzgerald, Brett A. Hales and Alexander Teemsma are running for mayor. Daren Rasmussen, Skylar L. Galt and incumbent Diane Turner are running for City Council District 4.

• Taylorsville: Robert Knudsen, Paul R. Schulte and Larry Johnson are running for City Council District 5.

• West Jordan: Incumbents Kayleen Whitelock, Kelvin Green and Chad Lamb as well as Mike S. Withers, Pamela Bloom, Mikey Smith, Tyrone Fields and Craig F. Heath are running for three at-large City Council seats.



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