Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis isn't the valley's only mayor who's pulling out of municipal politics.
With more than 2 1/2 years remaining in his term, South Salt Lake City Mayor Jim Davis says he'll likely take a political leave-of-absence.And Murray Mayor Lynn Pett, 50, isn't forming his re-election committee. After one term in office, he remains "undecided" about seeking a second.
"I still have have two years and nine months (in this term) and a lot can change in that time. I have heard a lot of mayors after their first year in office say, `I would never run again.' But as the time gets closer, I have seen most of them change their minds," Pett said. "I don't know about 1993, but I know I don't want to be a career politician."
Only Sandy Mayor Lawrence P. Smith, the other full-time mayor in the Salt Lake valley, says he "anticipates running for another term." But with more than half of his term remaining, he says he hasn't solidified his plans. Smith, the only Republican among the four full-time mayors, lost his job in 1985 after serving as Sandy mayor from 1982 to 1986. Supporters say Smith, stunned by that defeat, isn't likely to turn over his mayorship again without a good fight.
But rumors about Davis and Pett retiring have flourished since fellow Democrat DePaulis announced March 7 that he would not seek re-election so he can study his gubernatorial chances.
Davis, too, has been mentioned as a possible Democratic challenger for the crowd of Republican candidates lining up to run for governor next year. GOP Gov. Norm Bangerter has already announced he won't seek a third four-year term.
Davis was Ted Wilson's lieutenant governor running mate in 1988 - a gubernatorial race that consumed about six months. He and Wilson lost a close contest to Bangerter.
Davis says while he's "80 percent sure" he will not seek other office in the next few years, he'll make a final decision in May.
"My children are between (ages) 17 and 7, and to seek another political office would command such attention and time that my wife and I feel we would lose out on the growth years of our family," he said. "I am looking forward to an opportunity to do something in the private section."
Davis said he "has some irons in the fire" but no firm employment plans. "But I will never get too far from politics."
The 45-year-old father of eight, was reared in South Salt Lake and stayed there. He's been mayor since 1978 and doesn't plan on being a lame one now.
"I still have a lot of things left to complete in South Salt Lake," he said. "I wasn't planning on running (for mayor) this past time, but I was in the middle of a number of commercial projects that have since been finalized."
Full-time suburban mayors
A little more than on year into mayoral terms, there already is talk that two of the three full-time mayors in suburban Salt Lake County won't seek re-election. The third mayor, however, says he doesn't plan to bow out.
Jim Davis, South Salt Lake
"80 percent sure" he will not seek other office in the next few years.
Lynn Pett, Murray
"I don't know about 1993, but I know I don't want to be a career politician."
Larry Smith, Sandy
"anticipates running for another term."