LAYTON -- The Layton mayor's race is now a contest, with two familiar names joining the fray, forcing the verbally committed field of mayoral candidates into an Aug. 13 municipal primary.
Layton Councilmen Michael Bouwhuis and Jory Francis have told the Standard-Examiner they intend to seek the mayor's seat.
Mayor Steve Curtis announced March 11 that, because of a new job and a desire to spend more time with family, he will not be seeking re-
election after two terms as mayor.
Former Councilman Bob Stevenson, 59, announced May 1 that he will run for the office of mayor. Stevenson made an unsuccessful bid for the position in November 2009, losing by a slim margin to Curtis.
And now Stevenson has company.
Francis, 39, is a Clearfield business owner who was elected to the city council in November 2011.
Bouwhuis, 64, is president of Davis Applied Technology College in Kaysville, and has served on the council for 10 years.
"I've decided to throw my hat in there," said Francis, owner of a Freeport Center company that manufactures liquid cosmetic products.
"We had the west Layton village issue. I just didn't feel like there was a whole lot of leadership that came out of that issue," Francis said of the proposed multi-housing development voters defeated at the polls in 2012.
"I still believe I think a little bit differently," Francis said of being a newcomer on the council.
But the businessman recognizes there are those "limited in their views" who are of the mindset that one has to hold an elected city position for an extended period of time before seeking a higher elected position.
However, the first run for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was his original bid for the U.S. Senate, Francis said.
"The way I see it, I just want to present my resume. I want to present my slate of qualifications and vision."
Francis is looking at bringing a fresh perspective to the mayor's seat.
And while Francis champions a fresh perspective, Bouwhuis makes reference to his accomplishments and experience, saying that Layton, being the second-largest city north of Salt Lake City, requires proven leadership.
The longtime councilman said he brings that leadership to the table, having served on 10 community and state boards, including the Utah Defense Alliance, Governor's Excellence in Education Commission and as the current chairman of the Davis County Transportation Committee.
"I believe I have the vision and the proven leadership experience to keep Layton moving forward in its position as a viable, regional economic center and as a desirable place to live in preserving its uniqueness," Bouwhuis said.
In his 10 years on the council, Bouwhuis has been instrumental in the development of the East Gate Research Park, the expansion of Ellison Park in west Layton and the growth of cultural arts in the community, including bringing permanent seating to the Centennial Ed Kenley Amphitheater as former chairman of the Davis Arts Council.
Bouwhuis has lived in Layton for 16 years, and Francis has lived in Layton for eight years.
Layton Councilwoman Joyce Brown also has expressed an interest in running for the mayor's seat, but has yet to decide if she will seek the office.
Brown said she has one foot in the race, and one foot out, and has until as late as June 7 to decide.
The candidate declaration filing period for municipal candidates is June 3-7.