Mayoral Candidates Tackle Issue of Religion

Mayoral Candidates Tackle Issue of Religion

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Mayoral candidates in Utah's largest city are striving to prove they can stand up to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on development issues while not unfairly attacking it and helping to bridge what many perceive to be a religious divide.

Only one candidate, Dave Buhler, is an active Mormon. Jenny Wilson and Keith Christensen consider themselves Mormon, but not active, while Ralph Becker is a nonpracticing Episcopalian.

So far, the candidates are doing their best not to make religion an issue in the city the church's headquarters are based. It could be difficult.

Outgoing Mayor Rocky Anderson agrees. He launched a series of public forums to discuss a religious divide he says is serious.

The top candidates insist the church will receive no special favors during the five-year downtown City Creek Center construction project. However, mayoral hopeful Rainer Huck says that in his administration, "the Mormons will get what they want with no questions asked."

Christensen says he won't treat the church different from any other business.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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