A political unknown is running against Democratic political heavyweight Peter Corroon.
Michael Renckert on Monday filed official paperwork to run for Salt Lake County mayor as a Republican.
"I have a lot to offer the people of Salt Lake County," Renckert said on Monday. "I would like to help the county grow."
When asked why he waited until 3:15 p.m. on the last day of the filing period, he said he thought Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman James Evans was going to run. Once that rumor was debunked, Renckert thought it through and decided it was time to run a campaign of his own. He has worked on many Republican campaigns, including those of Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan.
The 47-year-old is a field supervisor for Adult Probation and Parole at the Utah Department of Corrections. He lives in Sandy with his wife, Nicia, and five children.
Renckert faces a daunting task in taking on Corroon, as the county mayor's poll numbers have remained consistently high throughout his four-year term.
Corroon is the county party's No. 1 target for the 2008 election, Evans said.
"He's not running against Peter Corroon. He's running for Salt Lake County mayor," Evans said.
When asked how he'll be able to take down Corroon, Renckert said he plans on lowering taxes, something Corroon never did in his four years in office. But when asked how he would do that, he said he didn't want to get into those details so early in the race.
"Property taxes need to be reduced," Renckert said.
Renckert also plans to add more attorneys to the District Attorney's Office, something that Corroon was hesitant to do in the 2008 budget process. Corroon threatened to veto the entire budget after the Salt Lake County Council added $1.37 million to District Attorney Lohra Miller's budget, which would have funded 16 new full-time employees, including four new prosecutors.
Miller says her office is overworked and is in desperate need of more staff. The veto never happened, after all sides compromised and cut $175,000 of Miller's budget.
"It's difficult to be able to keep control on crime if you don't have attorneys to process the case files coming through," Renckert said.
Another candidate filed for mayor on Monday. Leonard Olds is running on the Constitution Party ticket.
Now the ballot for Salt Lake County mayor is finalized, with four candidates filed: Corroon, Olds, Renckert and F. Joseph Irish. He filed as a Republican, but ran against Corroon in 2004 as a personal choice candidate and garnered just more than 1 percent of the vote.
The races for four seats on the County Council are also under way:
• Four Republicans and one Democrat are all vying to take outgoing Councilman Marv Hendrickson's District 6 seat. The Republicans are Bart Barker, Max Burdick, Ronald Fullmer and Robert Warnick. Democrat Roger Harding rounds out the District 6 race.
• Democratic incumbent Randy Horiuchi will battle Republican Steven Debry for the council at-large seat. Debry is a captain with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office and chief of police services in Holladay.
• The Democrats have two candidates trying to beat Republican incumbent Mark Crockett for the District 4 seat. The Republicans currently have a 5-4 majority, and if either Jonathan Jemming or Jani Iwamoto can oust Crockett, the Democrats will likely become the majority.• Republican incumbent Michael Jensen will fight for another four years on the council against Democrat Paul Pugmire. Pugmire is on the South Jordan Planning Commission and previously served on the Rexburg, Idaho, City Council.
E-mail: [email protected]