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SALT LAKE CITY — In a tight race, Salt Lake Mayoral Candidate Ben McAdams inched ahead Tuesday evening.
After all precincts reported, McAdams had 54 percent of vote, and Mark Crockett held 45 percent.
In a KSL/Deseret News poll released last week, McAdams was three points ahead of his mayoral opponent. That number was a reversal of a September poll that showed Crockett was ahead by the same number of points.
Pollster Dan Jones credited the close race in a mostly democratic county to the momentum Mitt Romney being on the ticket has built for the GOP. Split-ticket voters in Utah, he said, have favored the presidential-hopeful over President Barack Obama.
In his concession speech, Crockeet said he planned to get back to work at his "day job" and "help out as so many people are."
"It's been a great experience. There are always some things in campaigns that you don't like," Crockett said. "Overwhelmingly, I would say it's been inspiring. We have amazing people in our valley now. They want to do more for our community now. I think we're only going to go up from here."
As the last voters head to the polls, Salt Lake County Mayoral candidates sat down with KSL for an interview to give one last pitch to voters.
In his interview, McAdams talked about reaching over party lines, and his efforts to do so. He said from the start of the race, he and his campaign staff knew they had to gain the support of republican and independent voters, in addition to his democratic base.
"I think Mitt Romney's been a fantastic candidate and a lot of people like him, but Utah voters are smart, and they're going to vote for the person over the party," McAdams said. "So you've seen a lot of strong support for Mitt Romney, but they're willing to vote, they're crossing over and supporting me as well."
To do so, he said, he built a "positive campaign," utilizing humor in his advertising.
"We knew that people in Utah were going to be sick of negative campaigning," McAdams told KSL. "And I told my staff that I wanted under every circumstance, to run a positive campaign. So we've tried to do that, and I think in a lighthearted way tried to convey some very serious policy issues."
His message of bi-partisanship was clear in his answer to a question from the KSL- TV Facebook page, asking what "is the one thing that distinguishes you from your opponent?"
"I think the biggest distinguishing factor is in style," McAdams said. "We both have private sector experience— I've worked on doing mergers and acquisitions for Fortune 500 companies — but my style is somebody who works across party lines and delivers results. Thirteen of 17 mayors in SL County support me because they know that I work with them and that I listen. And that style of leadership is far too rare, unfortunately, these days."
When asked what he would do in his first day of office, if elected, he answered, "I'm gonna go listen."
Crockett focused on human services, saying that, if elected, those programs would be one of his priorities.
"I'm really motivated about making our human services better," Crockett said. "Whether it's a mom trying to stay in her home an extra few years, or somebody who's in a drug-treatment program, if we shift to more of an outcomes-based model rather than just the cost model we've had in the past, I'm convinced we can save a lot more families, and over time, a lot more money."
He said that he has learned from people in the county about their needs by listening.
"I've learned that I really just love hearing what people have to say out in the community. They know what they need, they know what they want, and the stories are always so powerful," Crockett said.
He focused on the benefits of those human services in his answer to a Facebook question, "As a Latino, why is my vote so important to YOU?"
"In the Latino community, I believe that the Republican party actually offers a lot about family values, about personal accountability, empowering small businesses," Crockett said. "That's certainly what we're going to try to do with county government: make it easier for smaller businesses, support families, and particularly with these human services, those help a lot of the Latino communities disproportionately today, and we can be better at those than we are today."
|Salt Lake County Mayor Results|
|Ben McAdams (DEM)||54%|
|Mark Crockett (REP)||45%|
|611 of 724 precincts reporting at 11:52 p.m.|
|For a complete listing of the election results, click HERE.|