OGDEN — Mike Caldwell and Brandon Stephenson will square off in the Nov. 8 general election to be the next mayor of Ogden.
The two were the top vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary voting. Caldwell received 1,953 votes and Stephenson had 1,342. Susan Van Hooser, who narrowly lost to Mayor Matthew Godfrey four years ago, was third with 1,271 votes.
Voter turnout Tuesday was about 19 percent.
The big draw for voters was likely the large slate of candidates for mayor and Godfrey’s decision not to seek a fourth term, said City Recorder Cindi Mansell.
“The eight choices were a hot topic,” she said.
Caldwell, 40, who is director of the Ogden Ice Sheet and public information officer and RAMP program manager for Weber County, said he’s pleased with his showing in the primary.
However, he acknowledged there is still much to do to win November’s election.
“I’m thrilled with the support, but it’s one step in a super-long journey. I’m so grateful to volunteers and supporters. That’s what it takes to keep Ogden moving forward.”
Caldwell said his campaign will forge ahead with the goals he has outlined for his administration if he is elected.
Those objectives include bringing 3,000 new jobs downtown and achieving a double-digit reduction in the city’s crime rate.
Caldwell also favors more owner-occupied residences to stabilize some of the city’s troubled neighborhoods.
He also wants a 25 percent increase in revenue to the city from tourism and to build on the city’s growing reputation as an outdoor-recreation mecca.
“I absolutely think they (the goals) are achievable,” he said.
Stephenson, 42, a city council member and corporate control manager for J.M. Thomas Forest Products, said he’s pleased with his success in the primary.
“Now we have work to do,” he said late Tuesday night. “Mike is a great competitor, and I look forward to facing off with him.”
Stephenson said he will work hard to bring more jobs to Ogden if he is elected. He added his administration also will focus on revitalizing downtown and making it more walkable to attract visitors.
Stephenson also favors more big-box retail stores along the 12th Street and Wall Avenue corridors.
Stephenson said his experience on the city council, educational training and business background have prepared him to be an effective mayor.
“All those things will make a mayor that can push Ogden to new and higher heights,” he said.
Van Hooser, 68, a city council member and a retired Ogden teacher, said she was disappointed in Tuesday’s voter turnout but grateful to those who supported her.
“I’m absolutely pleased with my campaign and look forward to continuing to serve on the city council,” she said. “I’m more than willing to work with the next mayor.”
There are 194 provisional ballots to be counted Thursday, and the official canvass of the election will be conducted Tuesday by the city council.
Other candidates in the primary were Jonny Ballard, Jason Goddard, Neil Hansen, John H. Thompson and Steven Van Wagoner.
See what the Weber County Forum says: http://wcforum.blogspot.com/2011/09/2011-ogden-city-municipal-primary_13.html