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Ogden business operator vying for mayor, focused on youth, small business

By Tim Vandenack - | Feb 10, 2023

Photo supplied, Kevin Johnson

Chris Barragan announces his plans to run for mayor of Ogden on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at Brookey Bakes, the Ogden business he runs with his wife, Brooke.

OGDEN — A 25th Street business operator has jumped into the Ogden mayoral race, saying his focuses, if elected, would include the city’s youth, small business operators and spurring home ownership.

“First and foremost, we love Ogden,” Chris Barragan said Thursday evening in announcing his plans. He and his wife, Brooke, are transplants to the city and they “chose it for the place to raise our children.”

This is Barragan’s first bid for public office, and he said he was driven to run in part by a desire to serve and to bring new leadership to Ogden. “I think it’s time for the next generation to step up and serve Ogden,” he said.

Barragan and his wife run Brookey Bakes, a bakery at 290 25th St., where he announced his bid to a throng of supporters. Previously, Barragan held development roles at Weber State University, the University of Utah and Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, handling fundraising duties, according to his campaign website. He’s coached youth sports teams and has also served on advisory boards for varied organizations.

Mike Caldwell, finishing his third term, has said he’s not sure if he’ll run again, but two others announced last month that they’re running for the mayoral post — community activists Taylor Knuth and Angel Castillo. The primary is set for Aug. 15 with the general election on Nov. 7.

Photo supplied, Kevin Johnson

Chris Barragan announces his plans to run for mayor of Ogden on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at Brookey Bakes, the Ogden business he runs with his wife, Brooke.

In his comments, Barragan put a focus on the need to work with kids, noting the pressures they face brought on by social media.

Anxiety and depression among youth are at an “all-time high,” he said. “We need to provide opportunities for our youth that will make an indelible impact on their future, because ultimately as the youth go so does our future. The mayor of Ogden needs to be present for our youth.”

Aiding and boosting businesses throughout the city would also be a big focus, he said, noting the struggles he and his wife have faced in running their bakery. City leaders need to get startups to consider Ogden, not just tech hot spots like Silicon Slopes in Utah County

“Being present to support new businesses will be my priority. … It is my intent to be at every business opening with our city,” he said. “I want to continue to promote a Historic 25th Street, but man, we need to expand beyond 25th Street. We need to expand up to Harrison (Boulevard) when businesses are there. We’ve got to promote them there. We’ve got to promote them to the south of us. We’ve got to promote them to the north of us.”

As for housing, he said there are numerous initiatives afoot to bolster affordable housing, but he put a particular focus on encouraging first-time home ownership.

He’s “grateful for any projects that are going to put new apartments in here to get affordable housing,” he said. “The equity needs to reside in the residents of Ogden. It needs to build the residents.”

He also expressed concern about lacking services for those with mental health issues, noting his research into the issue following the 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

He found Ogden lacking in mental health offerings necessary “to make sure that people are able to get the support that they need so they don’t feel at the edge and that they need to do something just to scream out.”


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