Voters shun far-right candidates for City Council

Increased sales tax shot down handily; SLC has its first gay mayor

Robby Poffenberger | Assistant News Editor | @robby_poff

Two candidates who ran on platforms of low taxes and smaller government failed to get the votes necessary to win seats on Orem’s City Council on Nov. 3.

Instead, voters went for three other conservative candidates who sat closer to the middle of the road on the issues of taxes, government spending and growth planning: Mark Seastrand, Debby Lauret and Sam Lentz.

Claude Richards and incumbent Hans Andersen came in fourth and fifth place, respectively, by over 1,000 votes—a margin, Lentz said, that surprised him with its size.

Seastrand, the only incumbent candidate to successfully run, led the field with over 7,000 votes, followed by Lauret and Lentz in that order.

Lentz, the youngest candidate and a newcomer to politics, earned The UVU Review’s endorsement for his stances on transportation, city growth and student compatibility.

Lauret will become the only woman on the council.

This was the first time Orem used a vote-by-mail system. With over 30 percent of all ballots returned—33,099 in all, which is up from recent years—it is likely Orem will continue on that course. Only about 700 ballots were cast in person.

 

Other results

Voters in Utah County voted down a proposed sales tax increase that would fund road and other transportation improvements. Proposition 1 would have levied a .25 cent sales tax increase, or 1 cent for every four dollars spent, with most of the money going to UTA and the cities directly, with a small slice for the county. It was defeated with 57 percent of the vote.

Salt Lake City also made national headlines by electing Jackie Biskupski, Utah’s first openly gay mayor of a major city, over incumbent Ralph Becker.

 

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