Sanpete County voters stick with familiar faces in mayor contests, with a few notable exceptions

            Sanpete County voters pretty much stuck with the familiar in mayoral contests on Tuesday. But there were some exceptions.

            The biggest changeovers occurred in Centerfield and Manti.

            In Centerfield, Travis Leatherwood, an LDS seminary teacher who served on the city council several years ago but hadn’t been involved in city government recently, won a big victory over incumbent Tom Sorensen, who was seeking his fourth term.

            Leatherwood got 221 votes, or 63 percent, while Sorensen came out with 129 or 36 percent.

            In Manti, Alfred “Chuck” Bigelow, a former warden at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, won a fairly close race against Darren Dyreng, manager of the Ephraim branch of Cache Valley Bank, who was serving his third term on the council.

            Bigelow got 607 votes, or 52.8 percent, while Dyreng got 541 votes, or 47.1 percent. 

            Meanwhile, in Wales, Byron Davis, who served three terms as mayor from 2002 to 2014, narrowly defeated Nathan L. Mitchell, who was first elected to the town council in 2007, and who was appointed as mayor to fill a vacancy in 2020. 

            Davis got 60 votes, or 52 percent, to Mitchell’s 57 votes or close to 49 percent, a 3-vote margin.

            In four other towns with contested races for mayor, the incumbent mayor was reelected, or a current council member stepped up to mayor.

            In Fairview, Councilman Brad Welch, who was first elected to the city council in 2005, will be the new mayor. He defeated G. Gilbert Wolf with an overwhelming 84 percent of the vote to just over 15 percent for Wolf. Welch got 368 votes to Wolf’s 67.

            In Moroni, Mayor Paul Bailey, a sheriff’s deputy, won a second term in a fairly close race over Jacob Michie, a long-time resident who was seeking office for the first time. Bailey got 193 votes, or 53 percent to 171 votes or 47 percent for Michie.

            In Mt. Pleasant, incumbent mayor Michael Olsen, who works for Sanpete Valley Hospital, was elected to a second term.

            In that case, Olsen posted a healthy margin over contractor Russell “Bull” Keisel, who is currently serving on the city council. Olsen got 518 votes, or 57.5 percent, to Olsen’s 383, or 42.5 percent.

            In Spring City, Councilman Chris Anderson, an attorney who was elected to the council in 2017, defeated Jane Hawks, a community activist who has been involved in the Citizens Emergency Response Team and senior citizens organization. Anderson got 234 votes, or 61 percent, to 148, or 39 percent, for Hawks.  

            In three towns, mayors were uncontested. Mayor John Scott in Ephraim, Mayor Lori Nay in Gunnison and Mayor Steve Anderson in Mayfield will continue in office.

            No elections were held in Fountain Green, Sterling and Fayette, because all offices were uncontested.

            That means Mayor Mark Coombs will continue as mayor in Fountain Green. In Sterling, Mayor Randall Cox stepped down after several terms. Keenan Pearson, who has not served in town government before, was unopposed to replace him.

            In Fayette, Mayor Jed Bartholomew did not seek reelection, but no one filed for mayor. That means the town council will appoint Bartholomew’s successor.