Mendenhall declares victory; preliminary results show close race for 2nd spot in SLC mayoral primary

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Preliminary results are in for the primary race for Salt Lake City mayor.

As of 10 p.m. on Election Night, the numbers are still very close. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but the top candidates are neck and neck.

Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall declared victory with a lead of several hundred votes. Former State Senator Jim Dabakis holds second but just barely. Fewer than 150 votes separate him from State Senator Luz Escamilla.

Although the race is tight, only two candidates will go forward to the General Election.

Erin Mendenhall at her Primary Election Night Party

“I am so proud of our campaign. We have worked with grit and integrity and focus. We’ve been the most grassroots of all the campaigns. And I couldn’t be happier with where we stand today but there’s a lot more votes still to come in,” said Mendenhall.

Mendenhall is currently serving her second term on Salt Lake City Council.

Jim Dabakis and Luz Escamilla are fighting for that crucial second spot. Just over a hundred votes separate them.

Although the race is close, Dabakis says he is in a “comfortable” position and believes he will emerge to the top two and into General Election.

Jim Dabakis at his Primary Election Night Party

“I feel comfortable. I’ve got the vision; I’ve got the experience and I know so much about the intimacies of government that those are the ingredients it will take to be a great mayor,” said Dabakis.

Right now, Dabakis is sitting in second place but Luz isn’t far behind in third place. Escamilla was also keeping tabs on the race with family, friends, and supporters.

Luz Escamilla at her Primary Election Night Party

“We feel great. We knew it was going to be a very tight race, said Luz Escamilla. “Eight candidates on a ballot is really hard and great candidates too, people that I admire and respect. We’re here and we’re waiting. It’s under 100 votes so this is obviously getting close. We’re excited and waiting for results.”

Although the race for the number two spot can go either way, both candidates feel they will be the one to seal the deal and take their campaigns to the next step.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson said the next update will come Thursday at 3 p.m. and again Friday at 3 p.m. Those results will include provisional and mail-in ballots that trickle in.

For more Salt Lake County election results, visit


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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...