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Out With The Old: Several New Mayors To Helm Salt Lake's Suburbs

Four incumbent mayors in Salt Lake County will be out of the job, if unofficial election results hold. KUER spoke to two of the new mayors-elect who will replace them.

Kurt Bradburn is 35 years old, a state attorney, and has never held public office before. He moved to Sandy with his wife 16 years ago. 

“Tom Dolan has been the mayor the entire time that we’ve lived in Sandy,” Bradburn said. “And he’s done a lot of good for the city, but frankly, (in) the last ten years or so, the city’s been changing in ways that we didn’t feel like were in our best interest.”

Namely, development.

Bradburn said he and other Sandy residents were concerned about the number of apartment buildings going up around town. He also thinks the city put too much money into the brand-new Hale Center Theater, which opens next week.

“The cost on this thing has just gotten astronomical,” he said. “I think the latest figures I saw was about $81 million.”

The political newcomer has a 14-point lead on Tom Dolan, who was first elected in 1993.

Bradburn said he decided to run for mayor because he and other residents felt brushed off when they tried to voice their concerns to city officials. Now that he’s won the mayor position, he’s ready to make some changes.

“We’re going to do things like make our city council meetings live-streamed and interactive, so people can participate from home,” Bradburn said.

In Taylorsville, city councilwoman Kristie Steadman Overson also has a big lead over one-term incumbent Larry Johnson. Her campaign was more grassroots: she went door-to-door asking residents for support.

“I started about the end of June, and I walked... oh my gosh, I’m confident in saying almost 3,000 doors,” she said.

Overson said while crime rates in Taylorsville are down, she learned it’s still a concern among residents.

“We need to make sure that neighborhoods, and people in neighborhoods, are feeling safe,” she said.

While she won’t be Taylorsville’s first female mayor, Overson is encouraged that several other women won races this week.

“I’m very pleased that women’s voices are being heard,” she said. “Although it’s not just about being a woman—it’s about (being) the best person for the job.”

“But I do see that there will be a lot of changes in municipalities through this election. It’s great.”

Final results are expected Nov. 21, but both Overson and Bradburn said they’re ready to get to work for their communities.

Nicole Nixon holds a Communication degree from the University of Utah. She has worked on and off in the KUER Newsroom since 2013, when she first joined KUER as an intern. Nicole is a Utah native. Besides public radio, she is also passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.
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