Ralph Becker, Jackie Biskupski square-off in final debate of SLC Mayoral race

Posted at 10:19 PM, Oct 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-29 00:19:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City’s mayoral candidates squared off for their final debate Wednesday night.

Mayor Ralph Becker and challenger Jackie Biskupski met at the Salt Lake City Library, just days before voters will decide which one should lead the city.

“This city thrives like never before,” Becker said in his opening remarks.

For months, Biskupski has challenged that notion, criticizing Becker’s record over the last eight years.

“We will need someone who is a project manager, and that is me,” Biskupski said.

Becker is seeking a third term in office. While he has the support of the majority of his council members, a recent Utah Policy poll places Biskupski ahead in the race.

While the two Democratic candidates have similar goals for the city, they differ on how they should be accomplished.

When asked Tuesday about policing and crime, Becker touted recent initiatives in the Pioneer Park area, including increased patrols of the area. However, Biskupski countered, saying that effort and policy has not worked.

"A model that had been used over and over and over under this leadership and has not proven to be effective,” Biskupski explained.

The two also discussed a controversial proposal that is on the ballot in multiple counties across the state: Prop 1. It would impose a sales tax hike in order to fund needed road repairs and public transportation.

While Becker said he supported initiative, Biskupski stated she believed they could acquire money for transit from the state, not necessarily taxpayers. She also reiterated interest in a Salt Lake City-run transit option, something Becker criticized.

“If we were to pursue our own transit system, as it has been suggested by my opponent,” Becker said, “We would be double taxing ourselves for administration, maintenance facilities, a whole new operation.”

While election night is November 3, many voters have already made their choice through mail-in ballots. All ballots sent by mail must be postmarked November 2.