The longest-serving Democratic officeholder in Salt Lake County government is calling it quits after three decades in public office.
Sherrie Swensen, who has bested Republicans with wide-margin wins since she was first elected in 1990, will not seek a ninth term as county clerk. Instead, she said Monday, she wants to pursue things — like traveling — that she hasn’t had an opportunity to do.
“I have not been on a vacation since 2015,” she said, laughing. “And the job is just so demanding and so busy. The hours are extremely long, and so I just thought it was time to kind of step back and try to get in some time doing things with my family, and that’s really the reason.”
As clerk, Swensen oversees balloting, marriage licensing and passport processing. She also has played a pivotal role promoting voter accessibility with registration programs and mail-in balloting.
“If you can imagine, when I first came in office, there wasn’t internet, there wasn’t any method by which people could even get the information,” she said, “and so I was out doing outreach, standing on corners and all kinds of events, trying to encourage people and give them the opportunity to register to vote.”
In this year’s race for her replacement, Swensen is backing Lannie Chapman, whom she hired as chief deputy clerk in 2019. Chapman, a Democrat, will face one of two Republicans, Goud Maragani or Nancy Lord.
County clerk is one of a handful of Salt Lake County offices on the ballot this year. Four of the nine seats on the County Council — where Republicans hold a 6-3 edge — will be up, with all the incumbents seeking another term.
Republican Richard Snelgrove is chasing a third term in one of three countywide seats. He could face a stiff test going up against Democratic Rep. Suzanne Harrison, who won a Utah House seat representing the Sandy and Draper area.
Democratic incumbent Arlyn Bradshaw is pursuing a fourth term in District 1, a Democratic stronghold that represents most of Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake and a portion of West Valley City. He faces Republican Richard D.M. Barnes, a geologist who unsuccessfully ran for Salt Lake City Council last year.
District 3 incumbent Aimee Winder Newton, a Republican who joined the council in 2014 and represents Taylorsville, much of Murray and part of West Jordan, is running for another term. Her opponents include Democrat Ashley Liewer and United Utah Party candidate Kerry Soelberg.
Republican incumbent Steve DeBry is running for reelection in District 5, which includes south valley portions of West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton and Bluffdale. He will face Sheldon Stewart for the GOP nomination. No other candidates filed for the office.
Voters also will decide two critical law enforcement positions.
Sim Gill, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term as Salt Lake County district attorney against Republican challenger Danielle Ahn.
And Rosie Rivera, Utah’s first female sheriff, will seek another term as the county’s top cop. Rivera, a Democrat who took office in 2017, faces an intraparty challenge from Tracey Creno. The Democratic nominee will then take on Republican Nicholas J. Roberts in the fall general election.
County Auditor Chris Harding, a Republican who claimed the job in a special election last month, will look to extend his tenure in a rematch against United Utah Party candidate David M. Muir, whom Harding defeated in February’s runoff before the Salt Lake County Republican Party Central Committee.