Monday at 5 p.m. the deadline door closed on those filing for candidacy in Provo and Orem.
Now it’s the voters’ opportunity to study the candidates and their platforms to see which ones they prefer to run their cities as they prepare for the primary elections.
This year voters will select mayors and three councilmembers for both cities.
According to the city recorders, those detailed below have filed their notice of candidacy. Now they must be validated before being fully approved as a candidate, according to Provo’s City Recorder Amanda Ercanbrack.
In Provo, incumbent Mayor Michelle Kaufusi is joined on the candidates list by M. David Gedo Sanchez, Dalton Beebe, Caleb Reeve, Ken Dudley and Neil Mitchell.
There are three council seats up for grabs: Citywide 1, plus districts 2 and 5.
Katrice MacKay, Landon D. Johnson, Aaron Skabelund and Hoc Vu have filed for the council’s Citywide 1 seat, while George Handley (incumbent) and Suzanne Q. are running for District 2. Rachel Whipple and Zac Green are running in District 5.
Kaufusi, has reached several milestones during her first term in office, including building a new city building, a new terminal at the Provo Municipal Airport for more commercial flights, and helping the city stay above financial concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sanchez has never held office but has observed government control and is hoping residents will see the need to be more self-reliant. Originally from Uruguay, Sanchez settled in Utah with his parents in 1962. He has worked in the non-profit industry all of his adult life.
Reeve is no stranger to running for office and says he may have started the wrong direction from his Facebook entries. Reeve ran for governor in 2010, for U.S. president in 2016, for the Senate in 2018 and hopes the mayoral seat is the ticket.
Reeve feels like the people of Provo want to know what is happening on the government level and they haven’t had that from the administration.
Many Provo residents may remember last summer’s shooting incident during a protest rally in downtown Provo. Dudley was the driver who was shot during the incident. He says he has thought a lot about things since that time.
“I felt like I needed to be involved. I’m not happy with things that happened when I was shot,” Dudley said. “I support our men and women in blue. I commend the police. They have my utmost respect.”
Mitchell is semi-retired and works with the IRS during tax season checking returns and answering filers’ questions. He says he is concerned about economic development in Provo.
“I’m getting a little depressed when I go to the (Provo Towne Centre) mall. I go to Orem and they’re booming,” Mitchell said. “I want to know what’s going wrong.”
“Grow and expand, or contract and die,” Mitchell said. He would like to see some kind of aerospace industry by the airport as well.
The Daily Herald tried to contact Beebe for brief comment on his filing but he did not respond before deadline.
To read the candidates’ platforms, you may go to http://provo.org and go to the department dropdown under recorder and look for the elections box.
In the final moments for filing Monday, several individuals threw their hats into the political arena in Orem.
Jim Evans announced his candidacy for Orem’s mayor earlier this year. On Monday he was joined by Archie A. Williams III, David A. Young and Haysam Z. Sakar.
As for the city council seats, there are three four-year seats open. Incumbents Tom Macdonald and David Spencer filed early.
Joining Macdonald and Spencer are council candidates that include: Shaunte Ruiz Zundel, Nichelle Jensen, Jon “Jon J.” Jensen, Mike Carpenter, Micky Cochran, Quinn Mecham, LaNae Millett and Todd Linsley.
Provo and Orem will join a good portion of the rest of the state and will be doing vote-by-mail ballots. They will be mailed three weeks before the Aug. 10 primary election and three weeks before the Nov. 2 general election.
“We’ve made it easier with the ballot drop boxes,” said Jody Bates, Orem’s city recorder. “Ballots can be dropped off at any box in the county. If you work in one city and live in another, you can drop the ballot on the way to work.”
As soon as Orem candidates are validated, you may read their platforms by going to http://orem.org and scroll down and select the elections box.