Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall closes her eyes during her mayoral primary election night event in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, as she hears the latest vote tallies showing her clearly in the lead. | Steve Griffin
Runner-up race still too close to call as Salt Lake County works to count over 8,000 ballots
SALT LAKE CITY — The day after her stunning election night lead, Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall reveled in her campaign’s success — though careful to note not all ballots have been counted, still throwing into question who she’ll face in the general election.
“I’m still digesting the results of last night,” Mendenhall said while addressing reporters on the steps of the Salt Lake City-County Building Wednesday, reiterating her team’s confidence that final election results will keep her as the top vote-getter in the Salt Lake City mayoral primary.
“Our campaign is currently recalibrating and preparing for the general election in November,” she said.
Both of her potential opponents, former state Sen. Jim Dabakis and state Sen. Luz Escamilla, are “lovely people,” Mendenhall said, adding that no matter who advances she believes the general election will be “strong and robust.”
Mendenhall ended election night leading in first place with 624 votes ahead of Dabakis, while Escamilla trailed in third place only 109 votes behind him.
Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said 8,158 outstanding Salt Lake City ballots have yet to be counted in the race — which could possibly cause the races to flip, though pundits point to more uncertainty with Dabakis’ lead over Escamilla than with Mendenhall’s lead with nearly 24 percent of the vote.
“With this many outstanding ballots, you just never know,” Swensen said.
The race likely won’t be decided until at least 3 p.m. Thursday, when Swensen is expected to post the next batch of results. If margins are still close, the race could drag out until more results are posted at 3 p.m. Friday or finalized at the two-week canvass.
“We knew it was going to be close and that this was a possibility. All we can do is wait and hope our final efforts were enough to see us through the primary and into the general,” Escamilla said in a statement. “Either way this shakes out, it’s been an incredible race and I cannot thank my supporters enough.”
Dabakis said he’s simply waiting for the race to hash itself out rather than stressing over whether he could lose his spot in the general election.
“I slept like a baby last night. I’m perfectly fine,” Dabakis said on KSL Newsradio’s “Dave and Dujanovic” show Wednesday. “The votes, I believe, will be counted fairly and accurately, and if I win, I win. And I will have great energy and enthusiasm for the next phase.”
Confident her lead will hold, Mendenhall issued a call for a “clean” and issues-focused general election, which she said she hopes will allow voters to delve “deep” into top …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News