SALT LAKE CITY — Citing a personal and private family matter, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski withdrew her name from consideration for a second term in office.
“As this is a private issue involving our children, that is all I want to say on the matter and I appreciate your respect for our privacy,” said Biskupski.
Her departure from the race leaves the door wide open.
“Obviously, Jim Dabakis is still the frontrunner, he's the guy to beat right now,” said Robert Gehrke, a political reporter with our partners at the Salt Lake Tribune.
Former Senator Jim Dabakis, David Ibarra, David Garbett and Stan Penfold are already in the race. Christian Harrison will be announcing his bid on Wednesday.
“Senator Luz Escamilla is considering it and I think will probably get into it…I’m sure city councilwoman Erin Mendenhall is getting a little bit of encouragement to run,” said Gehrke.
Dabakis downplayed the impact of Biskupski dropping out of the race.
“The fact that Jackie has decided to spend more time with her family really doesn’t affect my campaign at all,” said Dabakis.
He did not downplay the place Biskupski holds in Utah History.
“Jackie Biskupski was the Jackie Robinson for Utah gay people,” said Dabakis.
Biskupski is the first openly gay mayor in Salt Lake history. She is married with two kids.
“I am very grateful to the community for this but I think for me after this, it’s about being a mother to my kids.”
Penfold released this statement regarding Biskupski’s departure from the race.
"I respect the mayor’s decision. I wish her and her family nothing but the best. I know running for and holding public office is a challenging and demanding job - one I’m looking forward to taking on."
Ibarra also issued a statement.
"My thoughts are with Mayor Biskupski and her family at this time. Family is a gift and I respect her decision to put family first, as well as their privacy as they navigate this situation. I would like to thank Mayor Biskupski and wish prosperous future."