Park City mayoral contest: Worel vows to run like she is behind, Beerman plans rebound
Two well-known political figures must strategize for the fall campaign with top office at stake
Mayor Andy Beerman and Park City Councilor Nann Worel appear to have advanced to Election Day in November in the closely watched mayoral primary balloting on Tuesday, setting up a contest between two top-tier Park City political figures for the Marsac Building’s highest office.
Worel, a second-term city councilor, was the first-place finisher with 1,373 votes, according to results released midday on Wednesday. Beerman, who is seeking a second term as mayor, garnered 723 votes. Investment banker David Dobkin, who is new to Park City political circles, received 362 votes and is on the cusp of elimination. It is highly unlikely the order of finish will change at the time of the canvass as the final ballots are added to the tally.
It seemed likely prior to Tuesday that Beerman and Worel would advance out of the primary election given their prominence in the community as well as Dobkin’s lack of name recognition and short time as a full-time Parkite. It was not clear before the results were released, though, what level of voter support the two would enjoy.
The Worel victory in the primary can be considered a rout. She received nearly 300 more votes than Beerman and Dobkin combined. It leaves Beerman needing to mount a significant comeback in the fall, likely through a combination of attracting voters who did not cast ballots in the primary and peeling away some of Worel’s support.
“I am going to run just as hard as if I wasn’t in the lead,” Worel said in an interview.
Worel said people in Park City are worried their voices are not heard at the Marsac Building as decisions are made. She said her campaign message will continue to stress inclusivity, a different style of leadership, transparency at City Hall and the public process.
“I think my message resonated with voters,” she said.
Worel also gave credit for the primary election success to friends and supporters who are assisting with the campaign. She said there is a “phenomenal team behind me” that “energize me.”
She said Beerman is a “formidable opponent” in the fall campaign. The incumbent has a proven record of electoral success, she noted.
Beerman in the mayoral campaign four years ago mounted an extraordinary comeback between the primary election and Election Day. He trailed Dana Williams, a former three-term mayor who was attempting to return to office, by a wide margin in the primary election. Beerman pieced together a broad coalition of voters to win the mayor’s office by a solid margin three months after the primary that tilted heavily to Williams. Beerman was unavailable for comment late in the week. He provided a prepared statement addressing the primary.
“The primary results were disappointing, but I’ve been here before and know what it takes to rebound and succeed in the general election. I look forward to the opportunity to have some honest and in-depth dialogue on the real issues facing Park City,” he said.
The mayoral campaign is expected to center on issues like growth, the economy and transportation, but the two candidates will also likely need to address their leadership styles.
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