Westsiders sway county elections
Democrat Bob Richer, relying almost exclusively on his Westside base, retained his seat on the Summit County Commission Tuesday night, beating his Republican opponent in a contest that demonstrated the incumbent’s widespread support in Park City and the Snyderville Basin.
As early election returns trickled in, Richer trailed his Republican challenger, Bill Miles, by nearly 20 points.
In the end, however, the incumbent defeated Miles 58.35 to 41.56 percent.
Republicans had coveted Richer’s seat because the Ranch Place resident, who is seen is more moderate than his commission colleagues, often passed swing votes on the board.
Miles’ attempted to shore up Westside votes by portraying himself as more of a Parkite than someone who was born in Coalville. However making inroads into Richer’s political base, which the former Park City council member crafted over almost two decades of public service in Park City and Summit County, proved too daunting for Miles.
Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds defeated write-in candidate Brody Taylor 74.35 to 25.65 percent.
Voters returned Kent Jones to the Summit County Clerk’s office, with 75.52 percent. Jones, a Democrat, previously served as county clerk as a Republican. He beat Kathy Dopp from the Desert Greens Party who tallied 22.93 percent.
Dopp, who campaigned on a platform criticizing the county’s new touch-screen voting machines, said afterwards she would explore the potential of contesting the results.
"We should have no confidence in invisible, secretly counted [ballots]," Dopp said.
Meanwhile, voters passed a pivotal proposition calling for a change in Summit county’s form of government to a five-member county council with an executive manager,
But, with nearly 200 absentee ballots outstanding, the results of the Summit County Proposition 1 election could shift. The proposition passed on Tuesday by just 110 votes.
"We’re not popping the champagne corks yet, said Diane Murphy who is a proponent of the change.
Voters in the Snyderville Basin rejected a $12 million bond to expand the Basin Recreation District field house by building a leisure pool and to build more trails in the Basin. Fifty-three percent voted against the bond compared to the 47 percent who supported the measure.
Voters in Park City, for a third time, overwhelmingly supported an open space bond, passing the $20 million ballot measure with 82.2 percent of the vote. With the bond people owning a primary residence will pay an additional $24.50 per year for each $100,000 of assessed value.
In Summit County in House District 53, Democrat Laura Bonham, with 47.76 percent of the vote, beat Republican Mel Brown and Libertarian Gary Shumway.
In Summit County in House District 25, Democrat Christine Johnson earned 71.32 percent, walloping Republican Ken Grover.
In state Dist 26 in Summit County Democrat Roland Uresk prevailed with 64.3 percent over Kevin Van Tassell, the Republican, who received 31.1 percent.
In three legislature contests, the districts spread over several counties from which results weren’t immediately available.
Overall, voter turnout in Summit County was 49.42 percent.
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Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, has died, the municipal government said. Erickson was involved at some level in nearly all the major decisions regarding growth and development in Park City since the early 1990s.