SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City voters have narrowed down the field of eight candidates for mayor, but the outcome isn’t entirely clear.
The candidate in first place is claiming victory, but the race for the crucial second spot is neck and neck.
Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall is up by more than 600 votes and is declaring victory.
“I was hoping to be in second place, and so, to be at the top that really felt reflective of what we were experiencing in the field, but not what we were seeing and hearing in polls. It was wonderful, we’re really excited,” said Mendenhall.
Former state Senator Jim Dabakis was widely considered the frontrunner. He’s in the second spot but locked in a tight race.
“I think compared to Ben McAdams it’s a landslide. I once won a Senate race by six votes, so for me, it seems like a very comfortable lead,” said Dabakis.
That lead is 109 votes. State Senator Luz Escamilla says she’s still within striking distance.
“We are going to wait for results right now in terms of outstanding ballots that have not been counted, and then there may be another process after that. So, this may be a long, maybe even two weeks at this point,” said Escamilla.
All three of the top candidates say they are disappointed with the tone of the primary and hope it changes as the race turns to the general.
“I think our message has resonated with Salt Lake City residents, a message of sustainability and collaboration,” said Escamilla.
“We are ready, willing, able, prepared to spend the next two and a half months explaining to the good people of Salt Lake why we could bring some very special things to the Mayor’s Office,” Dabakis said.
“I can’t wait to dig into that policy, and that financial know-how, the community conversation part. That’s what I do as a city councilwoman and that’s what I want to talk about when we get into the general,” said Mendenhall.
Only the top two move on.
The Salt Lake County Clerk will provide updated numbers Thursday, Friday and as needed after that.
The final results will be certified Tuesday, August 27, 2019.