Democrats Clyde and Wright post unofficial victories in County Council races
November 11, 2016
When the first batch of early ballots was counted at the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville on Tuesday night, the two Democratic candidates contending for contested seats on the County Council had taken early leads.
After about 1,700 more ballots were processed on Thursday, the Democrats, Glenn Wright and Doug Clyde, had increased their margins and appeared to secure seats on the five-member council.
This year, four seats were open on the council, including the seats currently held by incumbents Roger Armstrong, Kim Carson, Claudia McMullin and Tal Adair. McMullin declined to seek another term. Armstrong and Carson, both Democrats, ran unopposed, each earning another four-year term.
Adair, who was appointed in 2015 to fill the spot left vacant by former councilor Dave Ure, was running to complete the remaining two years of Ure's term. He is the only Republican and East Side resident on the council. He was defeated by Wright, the Summit County Democratic chair, who earned 9,821 votes to Adair's 8,861.
"I think this will be a great opportunity for Summit County," Adair said of the results in an interview with The Park Record on Thursday. "That is how the Democratic process works. I wish Glenn and the County Council great success."
Over the next several weeks, Adair said he will return to "business as usual" as the council continues to develop a budget for the coming year. He said it has been an "incredible experience to work with staff and other council members." Adair will serve until the new council members are sworn in early in January.
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"I will continue to and will always be involved in community affairs," Adair said.
Throughout his campaign, Wright championed affordable housing, better transportation and smarter energy-consumption practices. It will be his first time holding office. He unsuccessfully campaigned for the District 53 seat in the House of Representatives in 2010, losing to Mel Brown, and for the District 54 seat in 2014, losing to Kraig Powell.
"It was funny, really," Wright said when he learned the results. "I was watching the national results and I didn't think I could win an election and be so depressed. Certainly, I was happy with the results when I noticed them, but it was dampened so much by what was happening nationally."
Wright said he felt his message resonated "pretty well" with voters and his platforms mirrored the issues the community cares about.
"But, before any votes started coming in, I thought it was going to be pretty close and it was," Wright said.
Wright, a Park City resident, said he felt his opponent likely received most of his support from the East Side of the county. But, he added, he intends to improve those ties. Precinct tallies won't be available until next week.
"One of the things I certainly want to do when I take office is pay close attention to what those people think over there," Wright said. "I want to take what I think are the major issues and find out where they come in on those and try and to do my best for the entire county, including those who didn't vote for me."
Clyde also earned more votes than his Republican challenger Colin DeFord, 10,051 votes to 8,565. Clyde said he was optimistic throughout his campaign, and anticipated a slight advantage as a Democrat.
"As we know, these races are not strictly party politics in Summit County," Clyde said. "I was very grateful that my strong positions on the East Side zoning appeared to have, at least, helped me."
As a member of the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission since 2012, Clyde voted against the new zoning districts that are being proposed for the East Side of the county and emphasized that point throughout his campaign.
Clyde came to Park City from California in 1978 to work as an operations manager at Park City Ski Area, now known as Park City Mountain Resort. For more than 15 years he has worked as an independent consultant and is currently connected to projects with Bill White Farms, the Park City Day School, and an appeal regarding Hole No. 11 at Canyons Golf Course.
"I am confident that we have a bright future because we are united in the issues, and what controls our future is the quality of the environment that we live in, and that controls our health and welfare and controls our economic future," Clyde said. "I think we can all concentrate on that and feel confident moving forward that we are united, both from the east and the west, on the issues, with quality of life being paramount."
Thursday's results are unofficial until the tally is canvassed by the County Council in two weeks.