Election 2009: New mayors abound in Utah County votes

By Abigail Shaha, Sara Lenz and Rodger L. Hardy

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 4 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Mia Love became the first black woman to win a mayor's race in Utah's history Tuesday, when Saratoga Springs voters elected her by a margin of 861 votes to 594.

"I'm really excited," Love said. "The first thing I want to do is thank everyone. The second thing I want to do is get to work."

Love defeated candidate Jeff Francom.

For Saratoga Springs' City Council races, Michael D.S. McOmber and Jim Miller beat incumbent Cecil E. Tuley.

James H. Hadfield swept into the mayor's seat in American Fork, claiming 2,194 votes over sitting Mayor Heber Thompson's 1,380.

"I was surprised at the turnout and surprised at the percentages," Hadfield said. "I'd have been happy to win with 51 percent, but to win by two-thirds, that's almost outstanding."

Incumbents Heidi K. Rodeback and Dale O. Gunther were both re-elected to American Fork's two open City Council seats. Rodeback claimed 2,295 votes and plans to get to work on the city's roads and sidewalks. Gunther received 2,000 votes and wants to sell some of the fiber-optic assets the city owns to ease American Fork's tight finances.

In Lehi, Bert Wilson received 2,348 votes to defeat former two-term mayor of Lehi Kenneth Greenwood and incumbent mayor Lehi Howard Johnson, who filed as a write-in candidate.

Lehi's incumbent city Councilmen Stephen Holbrook will keep his seat with 2,132 votes and Kaye Collins will take over incumbent city councilman Johnny Barnes' seat with 2,169 votes. Barnes received 1,850 votes while Gordon Miner received 1,927 votes.

With three precincts in as of press time, Highland's incumbent Mayor Jay Franson was losing to Lynn Ritchie by 769 votes.

Running for Highland's city council, Thomas Butler, Roger Dixon, Scott L. Smith and Brent Wallace, were all new to campaigning, and faired pretty equally in the primary elections. But Smith and Butler were both leading toward the end of the night with over 1,200 votes each. Dixon and Wallace trailed with about 800 votes each.

In the faceoff between Pleasant Grove's mayoral candidates Bruce Call and Jeffery D. Wilson, Call claimed 2,274 votes while Wilson got only 1,576.

The City Council race was much closer, with incumbent Lee G. Jensen claiming 1,873 votes, losing his seat by one vote to challengers Milton Fugal with 1,874 votes and Kimberly Robinson with 2,107 votes.

Leadership was an issue in Spanish Fork where Mayor Joe Thomas' job often took him away from council meetings and city businesses. During his frequent absences when he was out of the country, G. Wayne Andersen took over as Mayor Pro Tem. Voters made Andersen mayor with 1,789 votes to challenger and former City Councilman Sherman Huff's 1,365.

Winning councilmen were incumbent Steve Liefson with 1,867 votes and newcomer Keir Scoubes with 1,690 votes. Former City Councilman Seth Sorensen lost with 1,666 votes along with Matthew McEwan with 1,015 votes.

Voters in Springville returned incumbents Ben Jolley and Mark W. Packard to their City Council seats. Jolley received 1,063 votes and Packard 1,464. Challengers were Colleen Hatfield with 519 votes and Christine M. Tolman with 949.

Wilford W. Clyde ran unopposed for the mayor's seat with 1,824 votes. Power and recreation were hot buttons in Springville.

Eagle Mountain's mayoral race is too close to call. After all precincts had reported, incumbent mayor Heather Jackson was ahead with 904 votes against Regan Bolli's 848. However, there are still 73 provisional ballots that won't be counted until Nov. 17. If she wins, Jackson will be Eagle Mountain's first mayor to be re-elected.

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