All the tumult arising out of the 2020 presidential election did not seem to deter the enthusiasm of Sanpete County residents for running for local offices this year.
The list of candidates running for mayor and city council in Sanpete County’s 13 incorporated cities and towns was up substantially from the previous municipal election. While more than 60 candidates filed for municipal offices in 2019, more than 80 candidates filed for office this year.
The filing deadline for mayor and council seats was 5 p.m. on Monday, June 7. There are a dozen races that will require a primary election this year. The primary will be held on Aug. 10.
In the town of Fayette, no one filed for mayor. However, it is possible to register as a write-in candidate up to Aug. 27. Sanpete County Clerk Sandy Neill said that if no candidate runs for mayor, the town council will appoint an interim mayor until the next election.
There was also one council seat each in Fayette, Fountain Green and Wales that did not attract a candidate.
Five incumbent mayors decided not to run for reelection this year. They were Jed Bartholomew from Fayette; Cynthia DeGrey from Spring City; Korry Soper from Manti; Cliff Wheeler from Fairview; and Randall Cox from Sterling.
Incumbent mayors John Scott from Ephraim, Steve Anderson from Mayfield and Mark Coombs from Fountain Green will all run unopposed. Newcomer Keenan Pearson from Sterling will not face any opposition in his bid for mayor either.
All the candidates who are unopposed or succeed in the primaries will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.
Four candidates have filed for mayor to replace Soper in Manti. The four candidates who will face off in the primaries are Alfred “Chuck” Bigelow, a former warden at the Central Utah Correctional Facility; Darren Dyreng, an official at Cache Valley Bank; Shannon D. Miller, who has been a leader in historic preservation in the city, and Steven Ray Sorensen, who has not held office but, based on social media sites, has ultra conservative views.
There are five candidates running for two four-year city council seats, so there will be a primary election. The candidates are incumbent Mary Lonnie Wintch along with Jeffrey W. Killian, Cory Schmidt, Stephanie Whitney and Gary Erickson.
The incumbent mayor John Scott will run unopposed for mayor. Four candidates, S. Lloyd Stevens, Donny Durrant, Wendel Evan Smith and Margie O Anderson, are running for two four-year council seats.
In Mt. Pleasant, the incumbent mayor Michael Olsen will take on four other challengers in the primaries. The challengers for mayor are Dan Simons, a retired postmaster who previously served on the council; Russell (Bull) Keisel, a current councilman who is retired from Rocky Mountain Power; Jeff B. McDonald, a former councilman; and Darold (Dar) Butcher, who has been a judge in the Sanpete County Justice Court.
There are six candidates running for two 4-year city council seats, so a primary will be required. They are Lynn Beesley, Paul C. Madsen, Donalyn L. Shock, Robert A. Marx, Mark Hightower and Dianne Blackham.
In Moroni, the incumbent mayor Paul Bailey will take on Jared Howells, who ran for the city council in 2019, and Jacob Michie, who has deep roots in Moroni but had not run for office before.
There are five people running for two, four-year council seats, so a primary will be required to determine the finalists. They are incumbent Troy Prestwich, incumbent (Fred) Thayne Atkinson, Richard Nelson, Brad Aldridge and Brandon B. Miller.
The Spring City elections will see three candidates, Jane Hawkes, a senior citizen who taught biology at what is now BYU-Idaho and who has been involved in a lot of volunteer work; Raelynn C. Ferguson; and Chris Anderson, an attorney and current councilman, are running in the primary for mayor. The incumbent Cynthia DeGrey will not be running again.
In the race for two-year city council, the incumbent George Kenzy will take on Kimberly Lloyd-Stewart, Timothy Clark and Kristine Hansen in the primaries. In the two races for 4-year city council seats, there are four contenders. They are the incumbent Paul Penrod, Thomas Brunner, Nancy Allred and Cheryl Bartholomew. The two candidates with the most votes in the final election will win the seats.
Three candidates have filed to run for the position of mayor in Centerfield. The incumbent mayor Thomas Sorensen will be running in the primary against David Roland Beck, a former mayor and councilman, and Travis B. Leatherwood, a former councilman.
There are four candidates for two, four-year council seats. They are Jonah Christensen, Gary Lynn Childs, R. Ryan Stewart and Christi B. Garff.
The Fountain Green mayor Mark Coombs will be running unopposed. The incumbent Rod Hansen is the sole candidate to file for two, four-year city council seats that need filling.
The incumbent mayor of Gunnison, Lori Nay, will be facing off against Blake Donaldson, who served on the council from 2012 to 2018.
There are three candidates running for the one two-year seat that is open. The incumbent Michael Wanner will face Holly Brown and Jay Clayton in the primary election. Incumbents Robert C. Anderson and Shawn Crane are running unopposed for two, four-year council seats.
In Fairview, the incumbent mayor Cliff Wheeler not be running, so C. Gilbert Dewolf will take on long-time councilman Brad Welch for mayor in the general election.
There are six candidates vying for two vacant four-year seats in the primaries. They are Aaron Watts, Kirk Watts, Talon C. Peterson, Casey I Anderson, Sean Rawlinson and Shirlene D. Rasmussen. Michael MacKay is running unopposed for the two-year seat.
In the Town of Sterling, Keenan Pearson will run unopposed for mayor. There are two people running unopposed for two, four-year council seats. They are Tamra Privett and Yvonne V. Larsen.
In Mayfield, the incumbent, Steve Anderson, will run unopposed for mayor. There are six candidates running for two, four-year council seats. They are the incumbent Mike Bennett, incumbent Steven D. Liddiard, Patty Glauser, Jaden L. James, Wesley Coates and Diane C. Johson. These candidates will be required to face off in the primary election.
In Wales, the incumbent mayor Nathan Mitchell will take on Byron L. Davis, a former mayor, for the mayor’s chair. The incumbent councilman Ronald Thompson and Marian Staci Taylor will run unopposed for the two, two-year council seats. And David S. Larsen is the sole candidate to run for two, four-year council seats. There is one council seat without a candidate.
In the town of Fayette, no one has filed to become the town’s next mayor. There is one person, Melissa Brinkerhoff Mellor, who has filed to run for one of two, four-year council seats that are open, leaving one unfilled.
The Special Service District will have three longtime members running for the board of directors: Karl Humphrey, Don Despain and Chris Goff.