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Salt Lake City Council chairman still trails opponent in latest results

By Lisa Riley Roche, KSL | Posted - Nov. 8, 2019 at 6:07 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Council Chairman Charlie Luke continues to trail behind challenger Dan Dugan on Friday after the latest vote count update, but is not ready to concede.

Dugan’s campaign, however expressed confidence his lead will hold even as additional ballots continue to be counted. New results show Dugan now has a 167-vote lead, with 4,578 votes, nearly 51% of the ballots counted, to 4,411, or just over 49%, for Luke.

“Thank you District 6 for the vote of confidence! This was a close race and evidence that every vote truly does count,” Dugan said in a statement, adding that he is “grateful to have run alongside Councilman Luke during this campaign. His experience as a dedicated public servant is commendable.”

The retired Navy pilot said he “cannot do this alone. We must work together, listen to each other, respect each other while doing the hard work it takes to create change. I can’t wait.” He said he wants to “resist development that puts our public health at risk” while pressing for clean air initiatives and campaign finance reform.

Luke pointed out that he is currently outside the 0.0025% vote margin necessary for a recount.

“However, with ballots still waiting to be counted, we feel it is important to carefully follow the election count process to its conclusion. I want to make sure the final count accurately reflects the decision of District 6 voters, at which point I am completely comfortable with what that decision might be,” he said in a statement.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said all that’s left to count are more than 600 provisional ballots cast countywide that are still being verified, along with any responses to notices sent out about ballots sent in that were missing a signature or had other issues.

“I just don’t think there’s enough outstanding,” Swensen said, to make a difference in the District 6 outcome. She said the margin between the two candidates would have to shrink to 22 votes, one-fourth of 1% of the votes cast, for a recount.

The only race that’s still that close is for Brighton’s four council at-large seats, Swensen said, where a single vote separates the fourth- and fifth-place finishers. Keith Zuspan has 126 votes in the latest tally and Phil Lanouette had 124.

Swensen said the next vote update will be on Wednesday, by 3 p.m. The final canvass of votes is Nov. 19.

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