Final On-Air Debate Held for SL Mayoral Candidates

Final On-Air Debate Held for SL Mayoral Candidates

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Richard Piatt ReportingThe final push is on for the high profile Salt Lake City Mayor's race. Today, both Ralph Becker and Dave Buhler held their final on-air debate, at KSL Radio's studios.

As the two talked to Doug Wright, they admitted there are a lot of similarities between them but pointed out there are also key differences, most notably in the area of the economic development of downtown.

Buhler has been much more aggressive since the primary in pointing out differences with Becker. Among those are the proposed sky bridge at the City Creek Center: Becker is against it, and Buhler says it's OK.

Becker has stated he thinks the Gateway has sucked the life out of downtown, and Buhler has been much more supportive.

But Becker has struck a chord with a lot of people in the city with his environmental record, his support of more bike lanes and in helping local businesses thrive.

"I think we're going to be in a place in five to 10 years, with the right leadership, that we'll see downtown Salt Lake City return to that excitement that we saw briefly during the Olympics. And it will be something people hold up as a model community," Becker said.

Buhler said, "I've been working on downtown issues the last eight years. We differ on the sky bridge: I'm for it, Ralph has had a lot of trouble with it. And again, I think Ralph is caught up in the huge planning morass instead of looking to see how we can make this huge development work and protect the community interest."

Voters during the primary favored Becker by a large margin, and that has been backed up in various polls since then. Because of that, Buhler sees himself as the "underdog," saying he's running his race accordingly. Today Buhler outlined his education platform, snagging the endorsement of former Gov. Olene Walker. The two appeared at a local elementary school this morning.

Both candidates remain optimistic today.

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