Environmental advocate poised to unseat Midvale’s mayor

Sandy mayoral contest tightens, but Bennett stands by his concession — unless “lightning strikes.”

(Courtesy photo) Marcus Stevenson is ahead in the Midvale mayor's race.

Midvale appeared on track Friday to get a new mayor.

Marcus Stevenson, political director of the environmental nonprofit O2 Utah, lengthened his lead Friday over incumbent Robert Hale to 193 votes by capturing 52.2% of the ballots.

“The results are unlikely to change,” said Stevenson, who nonetheless refused to claim victory until officials certify the results on Nov. 16. “I want to respect the process.”

The vast majority of votes have been tallied, and Friday’s update was expected to be the last one until that date.

For his part, Hale, with 47.8% of the votes, said that “if the numbers hold true for another day or two, I’ll call Mr. Stevenson and concede the race. If there’s any jump at all, I’ll hold until everything settles in.”

This was Stevenson’s inaugural run for public office, though he and his wife, Nikki, have been involved in the community since they moved to Midvale. He had endorsements from Midvale council members Bryant Brown and Dustin Gettel, both reelected this week.

“As a first-time candidate, I’m still stunned,” Stevenson said. “I know how difficult it is for somebody who is not an incumbent to come in and win.”

Hale, who actually led by 44 votes on election night before seeing the order flip Thursday, expressed disappointment in the turnout.

“It was baffling to me,” he said.

Sandy mayoral update

Monica Zoltanski leads Jim Bennett in the Sandy mayoral race.

On Thursday night, Jim Bennett conceded the mayoral seat to council member Monica Zoltanski.

On Friday, the contest tightened further, with Zoltanski’s lead down to 36 votes.

That close gap didn’t change Bennett’s mind.

“I am operating on the assumption that Monica Zoltanski is going to be the next mayor,” he said, “and I am operating on the assumption that I am going to help her in any way I can.”

After sleepless nights and thinking about the unlikeliness of a victory, Bennett felt “torn up” and decided to concede. Bennett said he was trying not to get his hopes up after Friday’s results and didn’t take back his concession.

“That does not mean that if lightning strikes, I’m not going to accept a victory,” he said, “if that’s what happens.”

Zoltanski’s team remained “confident” she will become Sandy’s first female mayor in January.

Draper council race

City Council candidate Mike Green held a 108-vote edge Friday over Hubert Huh for a second at-large seat. Tasha Lowery cruised to victory for the first seat.

During the campaign, Huh became the subject of some texts sent to Draper voters criticizing his role as a chapter president for United Families International, a group that is anti-LGBTQ.