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Sandy Voters Okay Wal-Mart; Provo Mayor Wins Third Term

Sandy Voters Okay Wal-Mart; Provo Mayor Wins Third Term



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(KSL News Team Report) Even without a presidential race to draw people to the polls, election day attracted some relatively big numbers in select cities.

Sandy had over 40 percent turn out. Voters there were enticed by a high profile mayoral race and the possibility of a new Wal-Mart. In the end, three-time incumbent Tom Dolan keeps his mayoral seat, winning 53 percent of the vote over challenger Gary Forbush. And, it looks like Wal-Mart is on the way. Referedum One passed with 53 percent For and 47 percent percent Against.

The big fight in Sandy has been over whether to rezone a large gravel pit to allow big box retailers Wal-Mart and Lowe's to build there. It's been a very big political issue, and it's been a very tight race on that one, referendum one. Also a tight race in the mayor's race, where three-time incumbent Tom Dolan was facing challenger Gary Forbush, a newcomer and opponent to the rezone. Thanks to the Wal-Mart fight, voter turnout was stronger than in 2001.

Windy Reay/Sandy Voter: "Well I'm for it because I think that the tax revenue will be a big benefit for us."

Bob Campbell/Sandy Voter: "I voted for the gravel pit. I'd like to see it go in. There's a lot of advantages. I think it would help this area."

Rachel Stone/Against: "The message that I would want to send to our city council and mayor is look, you can't just do whatever you want now. We've got a watchdog system going on, and you guys better still keep us in mind."

Matt Bradley/Against: "We put up a hell of a fight. We as citizens with all of our scant resources went up against Wal-Mart with all of their money and we did what we were able to do. We should be extremely proud of it."

So the hot political issue that divided Sandy for most of the year led to two very tight races on election day.

Voters in Provo decided that the city should keep moving in the same direction, re-electing Lewis Billings to a third term as Provo mayor.

The race for mayor in Provo turned into a contentious one, as Lewis Billings and Dave Bailey faced off in a rematch of four years ago, when Billings won by just 362 votes. This time the race was not as close, but Bailey says his campaign was worth it.

Dave Bailey, Candidate for Provo Mayor: "It has been so satisfying seeing all the people come out, not just family, but all the friends and contributors. Everybody has done so much to try and make this successful."

As for Mayor Billings, he says the campaign has helped him better understand what Provo residents expect of him.

Lewis Billings, Re-Elected to Third Term: "I think that this election has shown me the need, wherever possible, to find ways to improve our ability to communicate with residents and try to help them know all the things we're doing."

Mayor Billings will now have four more years to serve the citizens of Provo.

The final numbers in the Provo mayoral race show Billings wins with 60% of the vote. With all precincts reported, Billings had 7,214 votes to 4,730 for Bailey.

The Provo mayor's race broke city-election fundraising records. The two men raised more than $110,000 between them, nearly doubling how much the two raised four years ago.

Also in Provo, the road bond proposal sailed through easily with 72% in favor.

And in Orem's race for mayor, Jerry Washburn beats David Workman.

American Fork, Heber Thompson defeated Shirl LeBaron.

And in Lehi, Howard Johnson beats Kenneth Greenwood.

Voters in Tooele defeated fluoridation for the second time in six years. That leaves Salt Lake and Davis counties as the only fluoridated counties in Utah. Brigham City, Helper and Hill Air Force Base also add fluoride to their water supplies, as do 43 of the nation's 50 largest cities.

With all districts reported, the vote was 2,946 against fluoridation to 1,492. The turnout was nearly 32 percent -- double that of the municipal primary.

In Cedar City, residents overwhelmingly chose to re-elect Mayor Gerald Sherratt, avoiding a possible court fight if his challenger, a convicted felon, had won.

With all districts reported, Sherratt had 2,977 votes to 409 for Ernest Miller.

Residents were warned by the attorney general's office that if they elected a convicted felon as mayor he would be blocked from taking office.

Miller, convicted on a second-degree drug charge 17 years ago, said he didn't expect to win, but believed anyone who has his right to vote restored also has the right to hold public office.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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