State Sen. Luz Escamilla conceded the Salt Lake City mayoral race Wednesday afternoon, handing victory over the capital city’s top post to her opponent, two-term city councilwoman Erin Mendenhall.
In a statement, Escamilla said she called Mendenhall to concede after learning there were 9,744 ballots left to count in the race — fewer than she had estimated. The number made the chances of Escamilla overcoming 5,820-vote deficit unlikely.
“As I look back over these past few months, what I will always keep with me is how beautiful this city and its residents are,” Escamilla said. “I’ve met so many incredible Salt Lakers during this campaign. I’ve made new friends and learned this truth: east siders care about the west side and west siders care about the east side. In these times when we see so many divisions, it’s a reaffirmation of our great city to see that we all care about each other.”
Escamilla will continue representing west-side Salt Lake City and parts of West Valley City in the state Senate.
Shortly after Escamilla’s concession, Mendenhall released a statement declaring victory in the race.
"Luz is a dedicated public servant and a true champion for Salt Lake City. Her candidacy made this a better campaign and her continued public service will help make Salt Lake City a better home for all of us,” Mendenhall said. “I look forward to working in partnership with her to move our city forward."
Mendenhall is planning a press conference for 10 a.m. Thursday to outline a transition.