Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall launches re-election campaign
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is officially seeking her second term.
Driving the news: Mendenhall, who was elected in 2019, announced her anticipated re-election bid Wednesday morning in a video posted across her campaign's social media channels.
Context: During her first year in office, Mendenhall led the city through unexpected crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, the 5.7-magnitude Magna earthquake and a hurricane-force windstorm that resulted in millions of dollars in damage.
- Her current term ends on Jan. 1, 2024.
The other side: Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and Michael Valentine — co-founder of the group Friends of the Utah Pantages Cinematic Theatre — each announced mayoral bids last year. Both have widely criticized Mendenhall's efforts to address homelessness.
Yes, but: Last year, she proposed a $6 million grant program that would fund 400 housing units for low-income people and those experiencing homelessness, which the Salt Lake City Council approved.
- The city council approved a rezoning and lease agreement last year for a tiny home village to house homeless people, per the Deseret News. Mendenhall initially proposed the tiny home village in 2021, modeled after a community in Austin, Texas.
By the numbers: Mendenhall has collected $200,810 in fundraising so far, per the latest campaign finance reporting deadline on Feb. 15.
- Anderson reportedly raked in $126,46 and Valentine reported raising $110.
Zoom in: The incumbent has the backing of the Salt Lake City Police Association, as well as fellow Democrats, including former SLC Mayor Ted Wilson and former Rep. Ben McAdams, per a news release sent by her campaign.
The intrigue: This will be Salt Lake City's first mayoral election using ranked-choice voting after City Council members approved the method in March. Under the change, there will be no primary.
Flashback: Mendenhall previously served as a Salt Lake City councilmember for two terms between 2014–2020.
- During the 2019 Salt Lake City mayoral race, she campaigned on improving the city's air quality.
- She defeated her opponent state Sen. Luz Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City) by an almost 16-point margin, receiving nearly 58% of the votes.
What they're saying: "Our work isn't finished and we need proven leadership to see it through," Mendenhall said in the ad.
- "The incredible future we're building together isn't guaranteed, and it isn't going to be easy. I'm determined to make sure the city grows for all of us," she said.
What we’re watching: How each mayoral candidate differs on solutions related to the Great Salt Lake, homelessness and affordable housing.
What's next: The deadline for mayoral hopefuls to file their candidacy is Aug. 15.
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