The Junction City is on its way to having a new leader, with voters taking those first steps Tuesday to narrow the field of seven candidates to two.
According to unofficial preliminary results available Wednesday night, Taylor Knuth and Ben Nadolski have emerged as the leaders in the Ogden field, with 31.37% of registered voters casting ballots.
Knuth totaled 1,997 votes, while Nadolski tallied 1,829 votes, as of Wednesday. Just behind them in the totals are Bart Blair and Angel Castillo, with 1,770 and 1,693 votes, respectively.
Ricky Hatch, Weber County clerk, said Wednesday that the recent update includes roughly 99.5% of ballots cast in the primary election.
In an email Wednesday evening, Knuth’s campaign declared victory following the latest ballot counts that bumped his margin of victory from 76 votes to 168 votes.
“Growing up with a single mother who worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, I was never meant to run for office, let alone win a primary election to be Ogden’s next Mayor,” Knuth said in a news release Wednesday. “And yet, the people of Ogden have made their choice clear.”
Nadolski also declared victory Wednesday evening in a Facebook post, thanking supporters and saying he will continue to focus on people, infrastructure and affordable housing during the next round of elections.
“I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to take our message of Building Community by Investing in People into the General Election,” Nadolski said in the Facebook post.
The top candidates will head to the ballot in November, with the winner replacing current Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell. He announced earlier this year he would not seek reelection.
Ogden has seven total candidates running in the primary. Three candidates have been elected to office in the past, including current city council members Nadolski and Blair and former Utah state senator and Ogden police chief Jon Greiner.
The four remaining candidates, some of whom have run for office before, include former mayoral candidate Castillo, former Ogden City Council candidate Knuth, Utah Democratic Party vice chair Oscar Mata and small business owner Chris Barragan.
As of Wednesday night, the returns look like this:
Taylor Knuth — 1,997
Ben Nadolski — 1,829
Bart Blair — 1,770
Angel Castillo — 1,693
Jon Greiner — 1,549
Oscar Mata — 801
Chris Barragan — 385
Recent financial reports show three candidates raised tens of thousands more than their counterparts — including two of the top contenders following Tuesday’s ballot totals.
Nadolski led all candidates by raising over $100,000 as of Aug. 29, which was the filing deadline for all candidates. As of the same date, Nadolski had spent over $72,000 of that total.
The next highest dollar amount was raised by Knuth, who garnered over $90,000 in donations and spent a little over $86,000 as of late August.
Rounding out the top three for funding is Mata, who raised over $74,000 over the course of his campaign. As of the August filing deadline, Mata has spent all but roughly $1,370 of those funds.
For the last four candidates, Greiner had raised a total of $42,000; Castillo raised just a shade under $27,000, Barragan raised just over $25,000 and Blair’s contributions totaled over $15,000.