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Roy, North Ogden, West Haven voters back most incumbents in city council races

By Tim Vandenack - | Nov 21, 2023

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

Election workers help process ballots at the Weber Center polling place in Ogden on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. Pictured, from left, are Megan Fitzpatrick and Johanna Totman.

OGDEN — Voters across Weber County finished balloting on Tuesday and the preliminary results in the biggest cities outside Ogden show incumbents faring strongly, by and large, against challengers.

Three spots on the city councils in North Ogden, Roy and West Haven were up for grabs in the voting with six candidates vying in each contest.

According to totals released Tuesday night, with more to be added when counting resumes on Wednesday, the three incumbents in the West Haven City Council race appeared headed to reelection.

The top three candidates, each going for a second term, were Carrie Call, 1,328 votes or 24% of the total; Nina Morse, 1,059 votes, 19.1%; and Kim Dixon, 1,021 votes, 18.4%. Next were Clarence Kelley, 886 votes, 16%; Jim McGregor, 720 votes, 13%; and Sharon Hilton, 529 votes, 9.5%.

In the North Ogden race, challenger Christina Watson was the top vote-getter with 2,174 votes, 21.5% of the total. Next came incumbent Ryan Barker, 1,987 votes, 19.7%; and challenger Chris Pulver, 1,932 votes, 19.1%. Trailing them was incumbent Phil Swanson with 1,545 votes, or 15.3%, who appears on his way off the City Council.

The next two contenders in North Ogden were Tim Billings, 1,415 votes, 14%, and Merrill Sunderland, 1,051 votes, 10.4%. Incumbent Charlotte Ekstrom’s post was up for election this cycle, but she didn’t run.

In Roy, incumbent Ann Jackson led the pack of six with 2,860 votes, 25.7% of the total. Next came Joe Paul, also an incumbent, with 2,123 votes, 19.1%, followed by Bryon Saxton, 1,938 votes, 17.4%. Saxton had previously served a term on the City Council, though he’s not on the body currently.

Trailing in Roy were Jeremy Thompson, 1,658 votes, 14.9%; Benjamin Pearson, 1,637 votes, 14.7%; and Claude Payne, 897 votes, 8.1%. Incumbent Diane Wilson’s post was up for election this cycle, but she didn’t run.

In West Haven, development is perhaps the biggest issue, and the candidates were unified in their concern about runaway development and the need to keep a measure of control as the city grows. West Haven is the fastest-growing city in Weber County and also one of the fastest-growing in Utah.

In North Ogden, the issues of import to the various candidates ran the gamut from taxes to growth to experience.

In the Roy contest, one of the big issues was development plans along the busy 1900 West corridor in the city’s main commercial area. The City Council has approved a mixed-use zoning schematic for the area that allows for high-density housing, like apartments, and commercial. Some of the hopefuls don’t like the idea of apartments along the core 1900 West corridor, including Saxton, and the issue got a lot of attention.

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