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Mendenhall announces re-election bid for SLC mayor

Posted at 6:00 AM, Apr 12, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Erin Mendenhall has officially announced her bid for re-election.

In a video released early Wednesday morning, the mayor made what was expected — official — as she asked Salt Lake City residents for their vote. She touted her administration's accomplishments in the face of a pandemic and natural disasters over the past four years as well as her goals for the future.

"This is a special time for Salt Lake City. Like all great cities, we're growing. We're changing," she said. "Our culture, our nightlife, our high-tech job market. These last few years have tested us, covered the earthquakes, the inland hurricane, but we've emerged stronger than ever. Salt Lakers are resilient, creative, and innovative, and we've worked hard to earn real results, to make real progress."

She highlighted major investments in affordable housing, luring the lucrative Outdoor Retailer show back to Salt Lake City, reducing speed limits in neighborhoods and planting hundreds of new trees. Interspersed with news footage and headlines, Mayor Mendenhall's announcement also addressed issues her critics have laid at her feet — including crime and homelessness.

"While we can't solve the state's homelessness crisis by ourselves, we're building record numbers of new supportive housing for our unsheltered residents. We've completely transformed the way we work with the state and our neighbors. Crime is lower than it's been in years, and we're fundamentally changing how the city keeps the public safe," she said on the video.

 The mayor also touted efforts to build new parks and trails and save the Great Salt Lake.

"I'm running for reelection because our work isn't finished, and we need proven leadership to see it through. The incredible future we're building together isn't guaranteed, and it isn't going to be easy. I'm determined to make sure the city grows for all of us — to bury the walls that divide us, to lead with compassion, to promote equity, and to defend equality," she said on the video.

The mayor's formal campaign announcement included a long list of endorsements from community council leaders, Democratic members of the Utah State Legislature and Salt Lake County Council, and county mayor Jenny Wilson.

So far, Mayor Mendenhall is being challenged in the election by former mayor Rocky Anderson and community activist Michael Valentine. The Salt Lake City Council has decided to utilize ranked choice voting this year, meaning there will be no summer primary. All the candidates will appear together on the ballot in the fall and voters will prioritize them to select a winner.

Updates on this breaking news story on FOX 13 News and fox13now.com.