FARMINGTON -- The way has been cleared for Farmington City Councilman Jim Talbot to become the city's next mayor.
Talbot's Nov. 5 general election opponent, John C. Bowker Jr., announced Thursday his intention to withdraw from the race because of the time commitment related to a new job.
Bowker has not officially withdrawn from the contest, but is scheduled to come into the city offices today (Friday) to do so, Farmington City Recorder Holly Gadd said.
Through social media and a news release, Bowker has made it known that he will not be seeking office, Gadd said.
The deadline for write-in candidates to declare candidacy was Sept. 6, Gadd said.
Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson, who has served as mayor for two terms, has opted not to seek re-election and will be leaving public office after this year to spend more time with a family business.
Which means Talbot, in his first term as a member of the Farmington City Council, holds the unofficial title of mayor-elect.
"I would not be telling you the truth if I didn't tell you I was ecstatic," Talbot said upon hearing the news Wednesday that Bowker was withdrawing from the race.
Talbot, 63, a commercial real estate developer, said he gave quite a shout when he found out Bowker had withdrawn.
"We're really happy with this opportunity to serve for the next four years," said Talbot, who served five years on the Farmington Planning Commission before capturing a seat on the council.
But the mayor-elect, even without an opponent, plans to put up campaign signs -- admittedly not as many as he would have -- and campaigning.
"I want the people to know who I am," said Talbot, a resident of Farmington for 23 years. "I will still campaign and get out and meet the people."
"I know the city. I know a lot of the issues," said Talbot, who describes himself as reasonable and someone who exercises good judgment.
Talbot said he has communicated with Bowker, to whom he referred as a "good guy."
"After evaluating the demands of my new employment, and that of the office of mayor, I see that I would not be able to devote as much time to serving the citizens of Farmington as I would like to give, because of time commitments to my new full-time employment," Bowker said in a one-page letter to city officials.
"I owe it to my employer and to my family, to focus on my new employment," he said.
Bowker, a Utah businessman, recently accepted a new position with the California-based Internet technology company Cisco Systems, Inc.
Bowker, who with his family will continue to live in Farmington while he works from a Utah office, said he does plan to remain involved in the community.
"I believe strongly in public service, so I appreciate the years of service that Jim (Talbot) has given as he has served on the planning commission and as a city council member. As I withdraw my candidacy, I take comfort in knowing that Farmington city will have a dedicated and qualified leader as its mayor," Bowker said.
In the same letter, Bowker also thanked campaign supporters, and mentioned his concerns for those issues facing the city such as "land use planning, repairing our public drinking water system, and keeping the West Davis Corridor freeway out of our city."
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.