Park City voters may see Chadwick Fairbanks III on ballot again someday
Park City voters may see the name Chadwick Fairbanks III on a ballot again someday, perhaps within the next year or two.
Fairbanks, who was eliminated in the Park City Council primary election on Saturday after a recount confirmed his seventh-place finish, previously sought a congressional seat and said in an interview on Monday he would consider another political campaign.
Fairbanks said he is weighing whether to mount a bid in 2020 for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District, which includes Park City and surrounding Summit County. Incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Bishop intends to retire at the end of the current term, and a crowded GOP field is expected to compete for the nomination. Congressional campaigns usually launch well before the election, meaning Fairbanks would likely need to make a decision within months.
Fairbanks has twice sought the congressional seat, first in 2016 as an unaffiliated candidate and then again in 2018 as a Republican. The 2016 campaign ended with Fairbanks garnering little voter interest while he failed to advance out of the state GOP convention two years later. He has also unsuccessfully competed to become the chair of the Utah Republican Party. He is a consultant and an entrepreneur.
Fairbanks, who lives in Old Town and has lived in Park City for approximately two years, also said he would consider another City Council campaign during the next municipal election, which is slated in 2021. There are two City Council seats on the ballot that year, now held by Tim Henney and Steve Joyce, rather than the three that will be decided in 2019.
Fairbanks said another City Council bid would depend on whether he is engaged in politics in a higher office at the time.
Park City campaigns are nonpartisan, but Fairbanks said his City Council effort this year showed the electorate is not as progressive as many believe it to be. Fairbanks, who lacked name recognition inside Park City at the start of the campaign, won 4.75 percent of the votes in the primary election. He trailed the sixth-place finisher, Daniel Lewis, by two votes for the final spot on the November ballot. Fairbanks, though, trailed the top vote-getters in the primary by hundreds of votes.
“Park City’s a lot more center than some might realize,” Fairbanks said.
He noted he spent less money than other candidates, running what he describes as an “extremely efficient campaign,” and said he did not stump as aggressively as other candidates.
“I made zero phone calls. I sent zero emails. I knocked on zero doors,” Fairbanks said.
He contended he would have advanced to Election Day in November had he put more effort into the primary election.
“That was a miscalculation on our part,” he said about a decision to save the heavy campaigning for the fall instead of during the summer primary season.
Fairbanks said he plans to endorse Lewis, Max Doilney and Ed Parigian for the three City Council seats on the ballot, opting for three newcomers rather than either of the two incumbents seeking reelection.
Fairbanks requested the recount of the primary ballots that took place on Saturday at the County Courthouse in Coalville. The recount confirmed the two-vote margin between himself and Lewis. Fairbanks was in attendance on Saturday.
Fairbanks asked numerous questions as Summit County Clerk Kent Jones conducted the recount and said on Monday he has filed a request with the county clerk under state open-records laws for facsimiles of the ballots. He said, though, the Summit County Clerk’s Office managed the election fairly.
“I’m not challenging the integrity. … Not even close,” Fairbanks said.
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In another case, a 30-year-old Park City man pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.