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Scott G Winterton, KSL File

Salt Lake City Council chairman falls behind in vote count, while Mendenhall keeps lead

By Gretel Kauffman, KSL | Updated - Nov. 7, 2019 at 10:30 p.m. | Posted - Nov. 7, 2019 at 3:18 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — The vote gap between Salt Lake City Council Chairman Charlie Luke and challenger Dan Dugan grew wider Thursday afternoon, a batch of newly released election results show, with Dugan extending his lead.

Luke, who has held his seat on the City Council for nearly eight years and served as chairman for the past year, had 4,295 votes — 49% — as of Thursday afternoon, while Dugan had 50% with 4,447 votes.

On election night, the pair had been separated by just five votes.

Thursday’s batch of results included a large chunk of the thousands of votes in Salt Lake City that weren’t counted on election night Tuesday, but thousands of votes remain uncounted all across the county, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said Thursday afternoon.

More results will be released Friday, she said, at which point the majority of votes will have been counted. Still, the final canvass won’t be complete until Nov. 19.

Mayoral candidate Erin Mendenhall kept her lead in Thursday afternoon’s vote update with 58% of the vote — 25,502 votes to opponent Luz Escamilla’s 18,342. Escamilla conceded the race to Mendenhall Wednesday.

Other Salt Lake City incumbents Ana Valdemoros and Andrew Johnston also kept their leads: Valdemoros has 84% of the vote against challenger Leo Rodgers, while Johnston holds 62% of the vote against challenger Moroni Benally.

The race for Luke’s seat in District 6 wasn’t the only close race in Salt Lake County.

By Thursday afternoon, some candidates in other towns in the county were still separated by several dozen votes or fewer.

In Brighton, a newly incorporated town holding its first municipal election, Danial Knopp was in the lead for mayor, with 99 votes to Don Despain’s 86 votes.

Only three votes separated the fourth- and fifth-place candidates for Brighton’s four-person council at-large chair: Keith Zuspan had 115 votes, while Phil Lanouette had 112.

The race for the District 4 seat on the Sandy City Council also remained close Thursday, with only 25 votes separating Monica Zoltanski, who was in the lead, from Brooke D’Sousa.

Meanwhile, in District 2 — where just 17 votes separated the candidates as of election night — Alison Stroud had established a solid lead, with 1,758 votes to Maren Barker’s 1,661 votes.

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