MIDVALE — The winner in the upcoming City Council race in Midvale's District 3 may be based on how tolerant voters are of each candidate's background.
A misdemeanor wrongful appropriation conviction in 4th District Court and an order to repay his former employer more than $31,000 is the liability dogging Paul Hunt, a current member of Midvale's Planning Commission and a big winner in the City Council primary in September.
For Alan C. Anderson, the other candidate in the race, the potential liability is being gay.
Neither has a burning campaign issue they are promoting or campaign position of their opponent's they are speaking against. "Alan and I have many similar views," Hunt said.
Anderson said he is not using Hunt's conviction in his campaigning, though he believes voters should be aware of it when making their decision; and none of Hunt's campaign materials mention Anderson's sexual orientation.
Media reports and and gay-rights advocacy groups have mentioned both.
This race has just gotten legs of its own right now. It really has gone beyond just Alan and me.
"I feel like there are people who won't vote at all and people who will vote for me, not necessarily voting for me but voting against Paul, which is unfortunate," Anderson said.
"This race has just gotten legs of its own right now. It really has gone beyond just Alan and me," Hunt said.
Anderson's sexual orientation is not stated on his Alan Anderson for Midvale City Council Facebook page and is only aluded to in his campaign website, where he mentions his support of the Utah Pride Center and service on the board of Stonewall Democrats of Utah. "Nobody's ever said anything to me about it," Anderson said, adding that he's aware there has been talk.
Asked whether voters would end up casting their ballot for the candidate they dislike least, Anderson said, "That's what it sounds like, doesn't it?"