LAYTON -- It will be up to Layton voters to decide whether it is team-ticket running or a political endorsement from a group of concerned citizens.
The Layton Citizens Committee has printed and is distributing a political flier endorsing Layton mayoral candidate Grace Stevenson, and city council candidates Tom Day and Joy Petro.
The municipal primary is Tuesday. Voters can cast an early ballot through Friday.
The Layton Citizens Committee was initially formed in 2012 under a different name to defeat at the polls last November the proposed mixed-use West Layton Village development. The group was successful in turning back a rezone that would have made the 600-acre development possible.
That same group is now throwing its support behind Grace Stevenson, Day and Petro, all political newcomers.
Grace Stevenson is running for mayor against Layton businessman Bob Stevenson, a distant relation, and Council members Joyce Forbes Brown and Jory Francis, while Day and Petro are competing for two open four-year council seats against Councilmen Michael Bouwhuis and Barry Flitton, as well as Shalie Reich and Dawn Fitzpatrick.
"I think it is pretty obvious they are running as a group," said Flitton, who is seeking re-election to a second four-year term.
Statements, biographies and head-and-shoulder shots of Grace Stevenson, Day and Petro all appear on the flier.
"If you are all on the same flier, you are running together," said Francis, a councilman who is a mayoral candidate.
Francis and Flitton also agree that political yard signs belonging to Grace Stevenson, Day and Petro seem to be clustered at many of the same locations and in many of the same front yards.
But those candidates appearing on the flier see things differently.
Petro said the political flier put out by the citizens group is its way of supporting her.
"I don't really see us running as a group," Petro said, although she admits the three of them share similar views on topics.
The flier, now being shared on social media, was initially mailed to Layton residents, said Petro, who is grateful for the piece, because she is limited on campaign funds and has not yet been asked to contribute any funds toward the flier or the cost of mailing it.
"Everybody has their own reason for running," Petro said.
Grace Stevenson said the trio is running with the same type of feelings on some of the issues, but they remain independent of one another.
"We each do our own thing," she said, defending the flier.
And regarding the placement of their political signs, she said, their opponents' signs are also clustered in many of the same locations.
"That is not a complaint. That is just a fact," she said.
"They can do what they want," Flitton agreed. But the first-term councilman said he wishes the three candidates would stop misrepresenting that they are not running as a team.
The trio appearing on the same flier does not necessarily mean that they are running as a group, but the three had to have known they were going to be appearing on a flier together based on each having to approve the message on it before it went out, said Brown, a 10-year council member seeking the office of mayor.
"Personally, I would never make a statement on a flier unless I approved it," she said.
Brown said running for office can also be costly, so she understands the three candidates wanting to pool their resources to get out their political materials. "But when you do that, it can appear as if you're running together."
When someone runs for a Layton City Council spot, they are to represent every resident and not a select segment of the city's population, said Bouwhuis, who is seeking relection to the council.