Clerk ousted at county’s Democratic convention
The ousting by delegates of incumbent Summit County Clerk Sue Follett may have been overshadowed Wednesday by the conspicuous absence of Kamas police officer Scott Mark, a candidate for sheriff, from the Summit County Democratic Party’s nominating convention. Because no candidate in the contested races obtained 60 percent of the delegates’ votes, Democrats will vie against each other for two county offices in the primary election June 27. But delegates determined during the first round of voting on Wednesday that Follett would not oversee the Summit County Clerk’s Office for a second term. Follett’s Democratic opponents, Park City Senior Recorder Cindy LoPiccolo and former Summit County Clerk Kent Jones, trounced Follett, however, neither received 60 percent of the votes in the second round to avoid a primary. “I don’t believe the delegates actually looked at the accomplishments that the Clerk’s Office has done,” Follett said Thursday. “They were focusing on the experience and the experience only.” But she insists Summit County won’t have a lame-duck clerk for the next eight months. “Sue Follett, the incumbent, is out of a job come January,” said Rob Weyher, chair of the Summit County Democratic Party. According to Jones, Follett failed to fulfill her commitment to the voters. “The incumbent has not done the job that she was elected to do,” Jones said during the convention. Follett outspent Jones significantly before defeating him in a close race to oversee the County Clerk’s Office in 2002. LoPiccolo was the top vote getter in the clerk contest at Wednesday’s convention. Much of the clerk’s duties involve administering elections in Summit County. The clerk also assists the Summit County Commission, maintains records, oversees business licensing and beer licensing and issues passports. “I knew I would be a contender but I think when it came down to the wire that it was looking closer and closer,” LoPiccolo said. ”I knew it was a close race.” Weyher says Jones likely would have been eliminated had Follett asked her supporters to vote for LoPiccolo. Meanwhile, Mark says he left the convention before speaking Wednesday to respond to a police emergency in Kamas. Though he was absent, delegates still nominated Mark this week to challenge Republican incumbent Sheriff Dave Edmunds in the November general election. “That’s not something I would do,” Edmunds said, criticizing Mark for attending the political event while on duty. Mark concedes he shouldn’t have attended the convention during his shift. “I think I really did make a mistake in doing that,” Mark said Thursday. “Maybe I should have called the mayor or the second guy who works for me and took a day off.” He left the convention to respond to a call at the South Summit Aquatic Center. “I had two kids that were going to fight,” Mark said. “It was ugly.” Politics and law enforcement, however, don’t mix, Edmunds said, adding, “that’s not something that I would do.” “I had no idea it was even an issue,” Mark said. “I really screwed up but it wasn’t anything that was calculated I’m just scared to death.” June primary slated in assessor race Incumbent Summit County Assessor Barbara Kresser failed to eliminate a challenge from within her party during this week’s convention. She needed fewer than two delegate votes to garner the 60 percent necessary to avoid a primary race against former Summit County Commissioner Ron Perry, who almost 20 years ago oversaw the county’s tax assessor’s office. Weyher estimates Kresser had 58.5 percent of the votes, adding, “if she would have had two more votes, she would have won.” Other Democrats running for county offices who aren’t facing challenges within their party include: incumbent Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer; incumbent Summit County Auditor Blake Frazier; incumbent Summit County Recorder Alan Spriggs and Scott Mark, a candidate for sheriff. Nobody filed to challenge Summit County Commissioner Ken Woolstenhulme in November.
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