Is the future female? The changing face of Utah politics


As a reflection of what’s happening across our nation, the face of Utah politics is changing.

Taking a look at the state’s three most populous counties, more than 40 women were listed on the ballot in Salt Lake County for Tuesday’s election.

That’s compared to more than 25 women in both Weber and Davis Counties.

In Weber County alone, unofficial results show multiple women were elected to several city council posts.

“We get to talk about a vision for the city,” said Salt Lake City Mayor-Elect Erin Mendenhall.

In Tuesday’s election, the councilwoman defeated her opponent State Senator Luz Escamilla.

It was in the city’s first all-female mayoral race. In January, Mendenhall will take over for current Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

Now as the third woman to occupy the mayor’s post, Mendenhall becomes part of the shifting face of politics.

“It’s exciting and it means that Salt Lakers wanted to engage in this conversation,” said Mendenhall. “Hopefully, the path that I’ve been offering will be able to be informed to a greater extent through these conversations in the transition.”

In addition to Salt Lake City, the city of Layton also elected a woman as mayor. It’s likely the city’s first.

Two-term councilwoman Joy Petro defeated fellow councilwoman Joyce Brown with more than 6,100 votes compared to Brown’s 5,400 votes.

Editor’s note: The on-air version of this story incorrectly states that Erin Mendenhall is the second woman to be mayor of Salt Lake City. She is the third woman to hold this position.


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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...