Two other residents are interested in being Orem's next mayor.
Former council member Stella Welsh is taking a hard look at running in November. She's also interested in being appointed interim mayor."Why should it (the interim mayor) be a member of the council?" she said. "I think they're minds are made up."
R.L. "Bob" Wright also wants to be considered for appointment as mayor or to the council if a council member is selected to fill the position.
Welsh thinks the council should not preemptively select one of their own for the job.
"I think new ideas and somebody that asks new questions is always refreshing," Welsh said. "I don't think it ever hurts to have some new faces there and new thinking. I think the council goes down the road in pretty good lock step, and I'm not sure I always agree with that."
Welsh is waiting to see how the council fills the interim seat before making up her mind about running in November. She recognizes that the person appointed to the mayor's seat will have a "lift up" over other contenders in the election.
Welsh also says Johnson would be tough to beat.
Welsh served two terms on the City Council before resigning in 1988 to care for her husband's and her own parents. She ran for mayor against Willes in 1989, beating him in the primary but losing by 250 votes in the final election.
Welsh serves on the Utah County Housing Authority Board and the Library Board.
Wright also ran for mayor in 1989 but lost in the primary. He is a retired Union Pacific supervisor and has lived in Orem for 11 years. He is a self-appointed government watchdog.
"I have been active in and have demonstrated a real interest in government and in the use of taxpayer funds," Wright said in a letter submitted to the council. "I have a desire to contribute and give back some of this heritage and love to help the citizens and the City of Orem to become a greater place to live."