Ogden Mayoral Race Too Close to Call

Ogden Mayoral Race Too Close to Call

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Whit Johnson reporting Who will be the next mayor of Ogden? The decision is put on hold, and there's more controversy to go with it.

Fewer than 200 votes separate incumbent Mayor Matthew Godfrey and his opponent, Ogden City Councilwoman Susan Van Hooser. Those numbers don't include all absentee or provisional ballots, and the final count could swing the election.

It's come down to counting package after package of provisional and absentee ballots, totaling hundreds of votes. They will decide who will be Ogden's new mayor.

Van Hooser isn't worried, though. "I'm feeling very positive. I think the citizens of Ogden have deserved a choice all along."

Godfrey says it was a long road to get to this point. "This is my third election, of course, and it has been by far the most bizarre and nasty, and it's just been really unbelievable," he explained.

The nasty nature refers to controversy ranging from lawsuits to telephone and radio ads; but now, in the final days of this election, there is perhaps more concern. Absentee ballot applications distributed by Mayor Godfrey's office were declared invalid by the county clerk.

"So, we had to redo it. We had to go out and get the signatures for that entire group again," Godfrey explained. He says it was a simple mistake that did his campaign more harm than good.

Then yesterday, Godfrey supporters released a list challenging the residency of nearly 150 voters. "But it is in the code and it's allowed by law," Weber County Clerk Auditor Alan McEwan said.

Godfrey denies being aware of the list, but says he supports the challenge to ensure the integrity of the election. He says the list in no way gave him an advantage.

Meantime, the clerk's office will keep counting. "It will take extra time, but we want to make sure that it's done right, and I think that's the message that we want to tell people," McEwan said.

"So it's really very close, still very close. So I think we could take it, it could go either way still," Van Hooser said.

Take a look at just how close this election is: Godfrey has 50.8 percent of the vote, Van Hooser has 49.2 percent. It's a difference of 181 votes.

The clerk's office says the final results should be in by the end of the week.

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