Four Salt Lake County Council seats to be decided in November

Published: Sunday, Oct. 14 2012 6:11 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake County Councilman Jim Bradley gives his keynote speech at the Urban Farming Conference at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City on Monday, November 17, 2009.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The bid for an at-large seat is one of four Salt Lake County Council races that will be decided in November, with one candidate arguing the post needs experience and the other calling for new energy.

Incumbent Jim Bradley, a Democrat, is working to defend the at-large seat he's held for the past 12 years.

Bradley's latest push has been in support of Salt Lake County's urban farming program, which grants access to the county's fallow land for food and biofuel production.

With Republican Mark Crockett and Democrat Ben McAdams battling for the office Mayor Peter Corroon will vacate at the end of this term, Bradley said having experience in county leadership is crucial.

"I think it's important we have some experience on the council and in county government to help us transition into a new administration," he said.

While on the council, Bradley said he has made revamping the criminal justice system a high priority. The job is still far from finished, Bradley said, and he wants to continue working.

Bradley also has served on the Salt Lake County Commission, as executive director to Scott Matheson's energy office and as a government consultant in several areas.

Republican challenger Joseph Demma currently serves as communications director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. He has previously served as chief of staff and campaign manager to Gov. Gary Herbert, as well as on Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s senior staff.

Demma applauded Bradley's record but said a change would benefit the county.

"This seat in particular needs new ideas, a fresh perspective and new energy," he said. "This election for me is about the next four weeks and the next six years, not the last 28 years."

Dealing with the county's debt and and pushing for budget reform would be Demma's highest priority on the council, he said. Like his opponent, Demma also highlighted the need to focus on the criminal justice system and other county services.

Demma is running on a platform of upping government efficiency, facilitating area businesses and bringing in new business.

District 2

Longtime incumbent Michael Jensen is running for a fourth term on the council. The Republican is the only county councilman from an unincorporated area, and he and promises to support each area's decision on whether to incorporate.

Jensen is the chief of the Unified Police Authority. He is running on the issues of needed budget cuts, economic development, transportation and public safety.

Democratic challenger Brent Goodfellow was a longtime state legislator who was ousted in the 2010 Republican surge. Goodfellow served in the Utah House from 1984 to 2005. He was appointed to the state Senate in 2007 and held the District 12 seat until 2010.

While in the Senate, Goodfellow served on the education, ethics and revenue and taxation committees.

District 4

With Democrat Jani Iwamoto vacating her seat after one term, the race is between two first-time politicians. The District 4 spot had long been held by Republicans; Iwamoto claimed it for Democrats in 2008. 

The Republicans' hope for reclaiming the seat is Missy Larsen, who comes from a family of Democrats. Larsen has a degree in communications from the University of Utah and has been involved with various community action initiatives, such as the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable and the Utah Refugee Coalition.

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