2019 Salt Lake City Mayoral Race | KUER 90.1

2019 Salt Lake City Mayoral Race

A woman stands at an outside podium with a sign "Mayor-Elect Erin Mendenhall. Salt Lake City."
Nicole Nixon / KUER

On the steps of the Salt Lake City and County Building Thursday morning, Mayor-elect Erin Mendenhall declared victory in the race to lead the city and announced plans for a transition to the mayor’s office.

Photo of Luz Escamilla.
Cami Mondeaux / KUER

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. 

Woman smiles in crowd of supporters.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Updated 11:45 p.m. MDT 11/05/19:

Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall held a commanding lead in the capital city’s mayoral race Tuesday night, but with potentially thousands of ballots left to count, she did not declare victory; nor did her opponent, State Sen. Luz Escamilla, concede the race. 

Photo of 2019 Salt Lake City mayoral candidates Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla .
Brian Albers and Renee Bright / For KUER

Salt Lake City mayoral hopeful Erin Mendenhall raised a whopping $301,347 in just under three months, overtaking her opponent Luz Escamilla in fundraising since the Aug.13 primary.

Mayoral canididates on a debate stage.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Salt Lake City’s two mayoral hopefuls agree on many things, but in a debate Monday night they clashed over issues facing the city, such as the planned inland port and how the city serves its west-side residents.

Photo of downtown Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

For years, Salt Lake City leaders have set aggressive goals to shift the city’s energy use to net-100% renewable sources. But the date of that goal becoming a reality has been a moving target, and current mayor Jackie Biskupski is warning that both of her potential successors’ ambitions to finalize the transition by 2023 is unrealistic. 

Photo of city building.
Brian Albers / KUER

Interstate 15 and the train tracks that run alongside it cut Salt Lake City in half more ways than one. 

While the freeway is the physical boundary of the city’s west side, where more than a quarter of the population lives, it’s also where, some residents say, many city service end. 

Senator Luz Escamilla talks to Nicole Nixon on September 10, 2019.
Renee Bright/KUER

As a teenager, Luz Escamilla spent two years crossing the border every day from her hometown in Tijuana to attend high school in San Diego.

She says she had “great parents that value education. As professors themselves in universities in Mexico, they felt that the best quality of education in the world was in the United States."

Erin Mendenhall talking with KUER's Nicole Nixon on September 9, 2019.
Renee Bright/KUER

Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall grew up “with a mom who calls herself a hippie and father who passed away when I was a young teenager.”

“I think in a lot of ways, I grew up fast,” she said, “but I also grew up feeling like I could protest, I could attend rallies and I could have my voice heard.”

Photo of KUER's Mayoral Candidate Conversations.
Brian Albers/KUER

We know a couple things already about who the capital city’s next mayor will be. She’ll be a Democrat, and she’ll be a woman. Over the next four years, she’ll also have the chance to lead the city on big issues like air quality, homelessness and the inland port.

Photo of Luz Escamilla.
Jenny Goldsberry / KUER

Updated 8:00 p.m. MDT 8/15/19: For the first time in Salt Lake City history, two women will face off in a mayoral race this November.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Updated 12:15 a.m. MDT 8/14/19: Salt Lake City’s mayoral primary was too close to call Tuesday night with just over 700 votes separating three candidates.

Photo of mailer.
KUER

Salt Lake City voters and mayoral candidates alike have disavowed tactics by a new political action committee (PAC) which targeted some candidates over the weekend. But according to one political scientist, the controversial mailers and messages could move the needle in a close municipal primary.

Photo of city building.
Brian Albers / KUER

Eight candidates have spent more than $1 million combined on the race for Salt Lake City mayor.

20 Questions for the candidates.
KUER

Eight candidates are vying to be the next mayor of Salt Lake City. Ahead of the primary election on August 13, we played 20 questions with the contenders to learn more about where they stand on issues like air quality, transportation, homelessness, the inland port and more.

Photo of candidates on stage.
Screenshot KSL

The inland port has become a central issue in this year’s Salt Lake City mayoral race and has the eight candidates considering how they would work with state Republican leaders on the project.

Photo of power plant.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Salt Lake City mayoral candidate David Garbett says if elected, he will try to move an oil refinery and a power plant out of the Salt Lake Valley.

Photo of candidates on stage.
Rebecca Ellis / KUER

Gun violence remains a political issue nationwide. But, at the local level, there’s not a whole lot a Utah mayor can do to enact gun reform.