University of Utah political science professor Luke Garrott and small-business owner JT Martin will make their political debuts in January as members of the Salt Lake City Council.
Garrott posted a convincing victory over two-time incumbent Nancy Saxton, collecting nearly 58 percent of the vote to Saxton's 42 percent. Van Turner, the other incumbent up for re-election, survived a challenge from west-side activist J. Michael Clara in District 2.
Garrott said he learned during his door-to-door, grass-roots campaigning that District 4 residents were ready for a change and that was reflected at the polls.
"This is about progress for Salt Lake City," said Garrott, who raised nearly $24,000 in his campaign almost three times as much as Saxton. "People wanted change, and I think that's progressive change. I have high hopes for a progressive majority on the City Council."
Saxton said she wasn't too surprised by the results, saying she knew that Garrott's campaign had "a good bit of momentum going."
"It's been a wonderful eight years," she said. "I'm so glad for all the things I've been able to participate in and work with the other council members. It was a great council, but there's life after an election."
Buhler's run at the Salt Lake City mayor's job opened the door for Martin to take over for the two-term councilman. Martin, who owns Emigration Market, defeated attorney Roger McConkie 53 percent to 46 percent.
Martin raised nearly $40,000 in campaign funds to overcome an 8.7 percent deficit in the primary election.
"I am thrilled, honored and excited to get started," he said.
Martin said he plans to be a "great advocate" for small-business owners and District 6.
"I'm in the district all day, every day," he said. "People know where they can find me."
McConkie credited his opponent for working hard and having a well-organized campaign.
"It was a hard-fought race," he said.
Turner will serve a third term on the City Council following his 53 percent to 46 percent victory over Clara. It was a closer race than in 2003, when Turner collected 57 percent of the vote to Clara's 43 percent.
Clara said the results show that District 2 residents "are happy with watching the west side turn into a slum."
"During the campaign, (Turner) said he was doing a good job and I said he wasn't," Clara said. "The people have spoken, and it's pretty clear what they want."2 comments on this story
Prior to the election, Turner said he believes District 2 residents have been happy with the job he's done the past eight years on the City Council.Attempts to reach Turner for comment Tuesday night were unsuccessful.