Municipal primaries heat up

Jun 7 2013 - 11:55pm

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LAYTON -- Bountiful, Clearfield, Syracuse and Layton are bracing for a Aug. 13 municipal primary based on the number of mayoral and council candidates filing for office in the four respective cities.

The cost to Davis cities to host a primary ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on city size, officials say.

In Weber County, however, as of late Friday afternoon it appeared there would not be the need for primaries in the larger cities. Only a handful of Weber County mayors are seeking re-election and those that are may not face more than one competitor.

The deadline for candidacy declaration filings closed at 5 p.m. Friday across the state.

Layton, Bountiful and Clearfield are three of the Davis cities where voters will be casting ballots for a new mayor.

Layton Mayor Steve Curtis, Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson and Clearfield Mayor Don Wood have each announced they would not seek re-election.

As a result, three high profile Layton mayoral candidates have expressed a desire to fill the mayor's seat. Two of the three candidates are current city council members.

Layton Councilman Jory Francis and Councilwoman Joyce Forbes Brown have filed for mayor, as has Grace B. Stevenson.

Former city council member Bob Stevenson has also announced in a phone conversation with the Standard-Examiner his intentions to run for mayor, but as of late Friday afternoon had yet to file.

"We've got primaries now," Layton City Recorder Thieda Wellman said.

There is also six candidates competing for Layton city's two available council seats.

Layton Councilman Michael Bouwhuis, who earlier announced he would be running for mayor, said due to commitments at work as a result of a colleague leaving, he has instead filed to run for re-election to the council.

"I just couldn't get it to work for me," Bouwhuis said of having to run a full-blown mayor's race. 

"My first priority has got to be this institution," said Bouwhuis, president of the Davis Applied Technology College in Kaysville.

Bouwhuis, with 10 years on the council, will compete for one of two available seats against Councilman Barry Flitton, seeking his second full four-year term in office, Dawn Fitzpatrick, a Planning Commission member, Shalie Barber Reich, Tom Day and Joy Petro.

Other cities experiencing a mayoral race include Bountiful and Clearfield.

Clearfield Councilman Mark Shepherd and Gary Scott Baldwin of Friday afternoon were the only candidates to have filed for Wood's open seat, said Clearfield City Recorder Nancy Dean.

But the city does have a half-dozen candidates vying for two council seats, resulting in a primary needing to be held, Dean said.

Clearfield City Council candidates are Councilman Bruce Young, Planning Commission members Keri Benson and Ron Jones, Gary Bingham, Benjamin G. Larsen, Randy Goodnight and David Tomczak.

"Usually when we get open seats like that we get a larger crowd," Dean said. "We like to see the interest."

In Syracuse, Mayor Jamie Nagle will seek a second term. She will be opposed by Terry Palmer, Travis Jackson and Councilman Douglas Peterson.

There are also seven candidates who have filed to compete for the two open council seats, forcing an Aug. 13 primary. Councilman Brian Duncan, a council appointee, Allen Lowry, Gary Pratt, Randy Miller, Travis Waller, Michael Gailey and Daniel Schuler have filed to run for council, officials said.

Schuler ran in 2011 and lost by one vote, while Pratt is a current member of the city's Planning Commission.

Bountiful is in a similar situation, with a handful of council candidates there also forcing a primary.

As of Friday, the Bountiful mayoral contest consisted of candidates Councilwoman Beth Holbrook and Randy Lewis in determining who will fill Mayor Johnson's seat. Johnson has served three terms.

Bountiful City Council candidates are Megan Baker, Richard Watson, who heads up the city's Community Council, Kendalyn Harris, John Pitt, a former council member, and Councilman Fred Moss, seeking a third term in office.

Other cities experiencing year-end turnover in its mayor position are Sunset, Centerville and Farmington.

Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson has opted not to seek re-election, while his wife Kristen Harbertson has filed to run for a two-year council seat against Councilwoman Cindy Roybal.

In addition, there are two four-year council seats available, with the lone mayoral candidate as of Friday afternoon being Farmington City Councilman Jim Talbot.

Those seeking the two four-year council seats are Farmington Councilman John Bilton, seeking a second term, David Stringfellow, Rick Dutson, a former council member, and Scott Isaacson.

In Sunset, Mayor Chad Bangerter has also opted not to seek a second term, with Councilman Ryan Furniss there filing to run for mayor.

"I feel that my six years as a City Council member has prepared me well for the challenges that lay ahead. We have controlled spending and lived within our means, without cutting vital city services," Furniss said.

Two mayors in Davis County who are making a reelection bid are Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt and Clinton Mayor L. Mitch Adams.

"I think things in Clinton City are going well," said Adams, seeking his fourth 4-year term as mayor.

Adams will be opposed by challenger Debbie Barlow, the city's Planning Commission chairwoman.

In Weber County, if no others join the race, the need for a mayoral primary election may be non-existent county-wide.

"That would be quite unusual," said Weber County Elections Director Jennifer Morrell of the low number of candidates that had filed as of Friday afternoon. "I would expect there to be more."

Roy City Mayor Joe Ritchie is among those seeking another term, opposed in the race only by Councilman Willard Cragun, according to City Recorder Amy Mortenson

Other city mayors who have filed to run for re-election include Farr West Mayor Lee Dickemore, Marriott-Slaterville Mayor Keith Butler, Pleasant View Mayor Doug Clifford, South Ogden Mayor James Minster and Uintah Mayor Sue Bybee.

Both Riverdale Mayor Bruce Burrows and North Ogden Mayor Richard Harris have chosen to forgo pursuing re-election to the mayor's seat, leaving room for city councilmen to aim for their position -- Alan Arnold and Norm Searle, of Riverdale, and Wade Bigler and Brent Taylor of North Ogden have filed to run for mayor in their respecting cities.

As of Friday afternoon, Bybee was one of two candidates seeking re-election opposed by more than one other person, forcing what could be one of only a small number of mayoral primary elections -- to be held August 13 -- in the county. She will run against Lawrence Flitton and Brandon Kroeger, according to Uintah City Recorder Darinda Wardell.

Harrisville will also have a primary election because four candidates had filed by Friday afternoon -- including Roger Shuman, Councilman Bruce Richins, Councilman Chad Allen and Frederick Oates.

Dickemore, as of Friday morning, was filed to run unopposed in this year's election, said Farr West City Recorder Lindsay Stratford. If nobody files to run against him, he could be the only unopposed candidate in the election.

The mayor's seat and two city council positions are up for grabs in all Weber County cities except for Ogden, where the mayoral seat is not up for election, and Uintah, where one position for a two-year city council term is to be filled. 

Standard-Examiner reporter Clayton Leuba contributed to this report.

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