Turnout Likely to Be Critical in Deciding Races

Turnout Likely to Be Critical in Deciding Races

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John Daley ReportingIt's election day this Tuesday November 8th, and there are plenty of interesting races going on, from four city council seats in Salt Lake City to a number of mayor's races, and two very high-profile political battles in Sandy.

It's a windy day in Sandy today. The question is, will the winds of change blow through city hall? Two major issues are on the ballot in Sandy today: Mayor Tom Dolan is up for re-election and there's a big fight over the so-called gravel pit issue.

You may recall that about a year ago the Sandy city council approved a change in zoning that would allow big-box retailers Wal-Mart and Lowes to build stores on one of the last large, undeveloped parcels of land in Sandy. Opposition groups have fought the issue and gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

Tom Dolan, Sandy Mayor: "I think the city council and the planning commission made a good decision after months of public hearings and I think it is a good master planned project. I'll accept whatever people want to vote for. They can either vote for it or not."

Gary Forbush, Candidate for Sandy Mayor: "It's the biggest rezoning decision that's been made in Sandy in many years. I don't know how you can say it's not important. Something that 9000 people have signed a referendum for, that's 10% of the citizens who think it's a big issue."

Tim Chambless, Univ. of Utah Political Science Professor: "I think the issue here that has potentially angered the incumbent's base and mobilized his opponents is the issue of big box development in Sandy. Sandy's a lot bigger city now than it was in 1970."

Gary Forbush is the challenger in the mayoral race. He's opposed to Referendum #1 that changes the zoning. The mayor supports it. That issue appears to be driving turnout there. The county clerk estimates turnout in the range of 35-40%.

The race getting the most attention in Utah County today is for Provo's Mayor. It is a rematch of the election four years ago, in which Lewis Billings defeated challenger Dave Bailey, by just 362 votes.

The two candidates are at it again, this time and this race has turned negative with each side accusing the other of spreading mis-information. Both candidates agree that voter turnout will be critical to determining the winner.

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