Both Republican candidates for the Salt Lake County Commission are leading their Democratic opponents by healthy margins as the final month of the campaign begins, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
If there isn't a significant change in voter preference, Commissioner Mike Stewart and former Commissioner Tom Shimizu appear headed back to office.In the four-year race, Stewart leads Democrat Jim Bradley 51-31 percent, the latest Dan Jones & associates poll shows. Seventeen percent are still undecided.
In the two-year race, Shimizu leads Riverton City Mayor Dale Gardiner 55-32 percent, Jones found in the Oct. 3-6 survey. Thirteen percent are undecided in that race. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Root received zero percent of the vote, Jones found. Root has gotten 1 percent or 2 percent of the vote in previous surveys.
A month ago, Jones found that Stewart led Bradley 47-31 percent. So, Stewart has gained slightly and Bradley has remained the same. In that survey, Jones also found that Shimizu led Gardiner 51-32 percent. So, Shimizu has gained slightly and, like Bradley, Gardiner has remained the same.
Shimizu left office two years ago to run a failed campaign against Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, for the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd District takes in most of Salt Lake County. County commissioners and other elected county officials have looked longingly at the seat, believing the same voters who put them into their county seats could put them into Congress. That has never happened, however. Every county official who has run for the 2nd District, Republican and Democrat, has failed.
Shimizu now makes his comeback to county government.
Bradley hoped that he could unseat Stewart, who is seeking his third term, with the argument that there should be at least one Democrat on the commission. Democrat Dave Watson won the two-year race in 1986. But Watson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug and driving-under-the-influence charges this spring, quit his re-election effort and later resigned from the commission. Watson was the first Democrat on the commission in a decade.