News of the Salt Lake County sheriff's race was buzzing on valley police radio channels Tuesday night as Salt Lake Police Capt. Aaron D. Kennard commandeered the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department away from three-term incumbent Pete Hayward.
Incumbents held on to all but the clerk's office in the balance of Salt Lake County's non-commission races, but some of the incumbents got a good run for their money before election votes were tallied.The Kennard/Hayward race drew keen interest from both parties as Kennard went from being behind Hayward 46-53 percent as the earliest votes were tallied to a final contest difference of two percentage points.
Hayward said before all of the votes were counted Tuesday evening that the close margin did not surprise him. "He's been working hard, even though there's been a lot of negative campaigning" Hayward said of Kennard.
"We did everything we could do," Hayward said. "We kept our focus on the record but we have to ride with the punches."
"I don't like roller coasters, and that's what we've been on," Kennard said, contrasting an informal poll conducted by his campaign that showed him in a dead heat with Hayward, while a professional poll showed Kennard trailing Hayward.
"I knew I wouldn't get a landslide, I just wanted to make sure Hayward didn't get one either," Kennard said.
Kennard said that even before he takes office in January he plans to meet with all Salt Lake-area police chiefs to discuss combining services, including work on narcotics and gang units where the sheriff's office does not currently participate.
Successful Democratic County Commission candidates Randy Horiuchi and Jim Bradley campaigned heavily on Hayward's behalf and said additional money needs to be pumped into the Sheriff's Department. Kennard said he will be interested to see how well the new Democrats on the County Commission keep their promise to the department now that a Republican will be at the helm.
Salt Lake County Clerk H. Dixon Hindley is the only other non-commission elected official to lose his re-election bid in Salt Lake County. Dixon lost to Democrat Sherrie Swensen, who currently works for the state Democratic Party and said one of her goals, if elected, would be to simplify the voter- registration process.
The other six incumbents in posts outside of the County Commission won their bids for another term, but several of the races were uncomfortably close for incumbents who didn't believe they faced a serious challenger.
First-term Republican Salt Lake County Assessor Robert L. "Bob" Yates beat Democrat Kyle K. Kopitke by a 52-48 percent margin. Kopitke, who has no experience as an assessor, made the good showing in the race after running an exhaustive name-recognition campaign.
Salt Lake County Attorney David E. Yocom, a Democrat, was involved in a fiery, mud-slinging campaign when he first won the office four years ago. But his opponent this year, Republican Mark E. Anderson, ran a campaign almost unnoticed by the media and yet he trailed Yocom by only six percentage points.
Republican Auditor Craig Burg Sorensen was re-elected but was afraid at one point Tuesday evening he had been beaten by challenger Harold Black, a Democrat, whose only campaign expenditure was his filing fee of about $300. Sorensen, on the other hand, had the advantage of being the incumbent and had spent more than $5,000 on his campaign.
Recorder Katie L. Dixon, a 4-term Republican, won handily over challenging Democrat Richard W. Miller 58-42 percent.
Salt Lake County
702 of 702 voting districts
Jim Bradley(D) 104,825 59%
Bart Barker (R-inc.) 72,702 41%
Randy Horiuchi(D) 90,071 50%
M. Tom Shimizu (R-inc.) 89,081 50%
Robert L. Yates (R-inc.) 92,970 52%
Kyle K. Kopitke (D) 84,353 48%
David E. Yocom (D-inc.) 95,452 53%
Mark E. Anderson (R) 83,825 47%
Craig B. Sorensen(R-inc.)92,666 53%
Harold Black (D) 82,785 47%
Sherrie Swensen (D) 83,951 47%
H. Dixon Hindley (R-inc.)75,223 42%
Betty Christensen (I) 18,299 10%
Katie L. Dixon (R-inc.) 103,528 58%
Richard W. Miller (D) 76,403 42%
Aaron D. Kennard (R) 93,874 51%
"Pete" Hayward (D-inc.)89,353 49%
M. Carl Larsen (D-inc.) 96,714 56%
Robert R. Smeltzer (R) 77,101 44%
Arthur L. Monson(D-inc.)106,838 59%
Robert H. Copier (R) 74,345 41%
Elect 4 of 6 City Council members from geographic districts?
27 of 27 voting districts
For 3,678 55%
Against 3,032 45%