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Gale leaves Ogden City Council race a week after finishing 2nd in primary

By Rob Nielsen - | Sep 14, 2023

Photo supplied

Lara Gale was a candidate for the at-large seat C on the Ogden City Council. She withdrew from the election Sept. 14, 2023, citing professional commitments.

OGDEN — Just over a week after the conclusion of this year’s primary election, a candidate for Ogden City Council has announced she will not be seeking that seat anymore.

Thursday afternoon, Lara Gale — who finished in second in the at-large seat C race — informed the Standard-Examiner of her withdrawal from the campaign.

In a statement, she cited a professional opportunity as the reason for opting not to continue her campaign.

“I am in the process of accepting a professional position that will require me to spend most of my time outside of Utah,” she said. “Given the timeline in Utah’s election laws, I must end my campaign and withdraw from the election to allow the next most-voted candidate to take my place. I did not expect this turn of events, and want to acknowledge that in hindsight, continuing to campaign during the interview process for a position I knew I’d accept if offered, without getting clarity about whether I would be required to withdraw if I did, was the wrong decision.”

As of the votes counted through Wednesday, Gale finished in second with 2,547 votes (24.59%) behind Shaun Myers who had 4,417 votes (42.64%). Following Gale are J. Levi Andersen with 1,588 votes (15.33%) and John Thompson with 1,146 votes (11.06%).

However, Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch told the Standard-Examiner that election officials are making sure that the unprecedented situation is handled properly and clarifying whether or not Andersen would now face Myers in November.

“Our office is reviewing the state code to see what statutes and provisions apply in this unusual situation,” he said. “We are working closely with our county attorney and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to make sure that we follow the state law precisely. It does appear that there is some language that addresses this unique circumstance and we should have a decision by Friday.”

Hatch added that his office is also working with the City of Ogden to clarify the situation.

Thursday afternoon, Andersen confirmed to the Standard-Examiner that he will continue his campaign if the decision is affirmed.

“I was just getting used to the idea of not winning and now I’m moving on,” he said. “I appreciate (Gale) being upfront about what she was doing and she’s been very open with me about her plans. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to keep getting my message out to the people of Ogden.”

In her statement, Gale also reached out to supporters about her decision and her gratitude for how the community participated in this year’s primary election.

“To my supporters, particularly those who voted for me in the primary election, thank you for your support and I sincerely apologize for not following through on my commitment to run to represent you,” she said. “I hope anyone disappointed by my withdrawal is heartened by the incredible turnout for the primary election. That, and the number and quality of candidates, reflects Ogden’s civic character as a whole. All elected officials are bound to represent their constituents, and to uphold the laws of the nation, state, county and city. Ogden is a great city with a bright future.”

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