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Mayor Brent Taylor’s widow reflects on first election since his death

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NORTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 30,000 ballots have been submitted in Weber County.

Three of the cities are voting for new mayors. One of which has roughly a 35 percent turnout in a city that lost its mayor just over one year ago.

“Vote Brent Taylor for Mayor.” A lawn sign that’s a placeholder until the former North Ogden mayor’s headstone is set in place.

Taylor, who was killed nearly one year after his second term of being elected into office, took an unanticipated leave for roughly one year to serve his country in Afghanistan.

He was set to return home to his mayoral duties just a few months after he was killed.  

Serving as Taylor’s interim at the time, now, Mayor Brent Chugg took on Taylor’s duties, committing to serving his community until the end of 2019.

“It is a little bit different for the fact that he’s not here and finishing his term as mayor,” Chugg said. “This was unanticipated.”

With the end of the year drawing near, Chugg is set to retire and a new mayor will finish out the last two years of Taylor’s four-year term.

With ballots due Tuesday by 8 p.m., and a new mayor to be announced shortly after, Taylor’s widow, Jennie Taylor, said this race is difficult and for a short time, she chose to keep quiet.

“I was staying out of it, for personal and emotional reasons, it was just too close to home, too tender, too sad to think we shouldn’t even be having a mayoral race right now,” Jennie Taylor said. “Brent should still be here. That’s his seat for two more years.”

But she said her thoughts have been lifted to be proactive rather than reactive.

“Well, you know what, we are electing a new mayor,” Jennie Taylor said. “Brent’s not here and I can ring my hands or roll up my sleeves, but I can’t do both.”

Jennie Taylor said this election season makes 10 years since Brent Taylor first ran for any sort of political office. In 2008-2012, Taylor was in North Ogden’s City Council. After those four years, he was elected mayor and was voted into office again in 2017 – just one year before his death.

Jennie Taylor shares photographs of the years her family spent supporting and rallying behind a husband and father who loved his community and country.

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