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'Nobody' a somebody in Provo

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 5 2003 11:02 a.m. MST

James Dixon, center, won re-election to the Lehi City Council. Dixon sitting by his wife, Lisa, is congratulated by Johnny Barnes, a current Lehi City Council member. Six candidates were briefly eliminated from ballots last week.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

PROVO — Put down the remote, folks.

Provo City Council meetings will be more entertaining than "Must-See-TV."

During his candidacy, Steve Turley, who calls himself "Mr. Nobody," promised to change Provo's political landscape. And now he can.

According to unofficial tallies, Turley upset incumbent Stan Lockhart for the citywide council position Tuesday night.

Also according to unofficial tallies, Barbara Sandstrom beat former Councilwoman Shari Holweg.

Midge Johnson won the District No. 3 seat. According to the unofficial tally, she had garnered 65 percent of the vote compared to Melanie McCoard's 35 percent.

Mark Hathaway had 40 percent of the vote, and Cynthia Dayton had 60 percent as of press time. Hathaway likely lost his bid for re-election.

The District No. 3 race was the only race without an incumbent. Political rookie Johnson overwhelmed the vote in what some called a negative campaign.

Johnson said she used a grassroots effort to claim the election-night victory.

"I'm just so grateful that people have trusted me and have the confidence in me," Johnson said from her home Tuesday night. Johnson stayed away from Council Chambers Tuesday night because she was suffering from the flu.

"I'm looking forward to working hard and making Provo a better place. I'm looking forward to giving the people a voice."

Defeat is bittersweet for McCoard, who lost in a different City Council race four years ago. Although she holds no political office, McCoard is a household name among Provo leaders.

She's pestered them for years. McCoard has attended every City Council meeting, study session or briefing — just about any city meeting imaginable. McCoard said she is unsure if she'll maintain that same zeal now that she lost the election.

"She's really outcampaigned me, but she's not outqualified me," McCoard said. "I just hope people took the time to really look at the issues."

Thanks to the efforts of one Provo candidate, the election almost didn't take place, Last week, a Provo judge denied Holweg's request to halt the election based on her claim that the city failed to comply with state election law.

"I thought that was kind of uncalled for," said voter Patrick Wyman. "I really didn't think there was any reason for that (lawsuit)."

Holweg claimed polling locations determined by her opponent and the rest of the City Council last month were created to aid City Council members seeking re-election. But, Holweg maintains that she did not file the lawsuit to help her campaign in any way.

Incumbent Barbara Sandstrom defeated Holweg, who came to the City Council chambers Tuesday night but was feeling under the weather and left home.

"I'm just as excited as I was four years ago," Sandstrom said. "I still have the energy and enthusiasm. The issues are all different. I'm just very very grateful I'm going to have the opportunity to serve again."


E-mail: ldethman@desnews.com

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