Pledging to fight for clean air and smart growth, Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall officially launched her campaign for mayor Sunday afternoon.
“I have a passion for Salt Lake City that I know is contagious,” she said.
Mendenhall made the announcement in front of an air-quality monitor in northwest Salt Lake City, a symbol of an issue she has worked on for years. She co-founded the clean air advocacy group Breathe Utah and currently chairs the state’s Air Quality Board.
Set up between two Rose Park schools, the monitor is “a physical reminder of why the choices we make in government – and in elections – play out in our everyday lives,” she said.
The two-term District 5 councilwoman touted her work on issues including environmental initiatives, affordable housing, public transit and leading negotiations last year with state officials over a planned inland port.
“My time on the City Council shows how I get results,” Mendenhall said. “As chair of the council, I made a seat for our city at the table when there wasn’t one, when the state was ready to move ahead with the inland port without Salt Lake City.”
Mendenhall also announced that the field director of newly-elected Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign would be joining her team this week.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced last month she was dropping out of the race to focus on her family.
Mendenhall joins a crowded mayoral race which now has 10 candidates. The field also includes former state Sen. Jim Dabakis, current state Sen. Luz Escamilla, former councilman Stan Penfold, downtown community council chairman Christian Harrison, businessman and philanthropist David Ibarra and environmental attorney David Garbett.
Richard Goldberger, Aaron Johnson and Carol Rogozinski have also opened campaign committees to run for the post.
The official declaration period is the first week in June.
As of mid-February, Ibarra, Dabakis and Garbett led fundraising for the race. Ibarra had raised $234,931 while Dabakis and Garbett raised $100,838 and $111,131, respectively.