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Some SLC Residents Celebrate Biskupski As Mayor: Current Mayor Not Convinced


Supporters of a candidate who could become the first openly gay mayor in Utah say they are confident former state lawmaker Jackie Biskupski will be announced as the official winner of the Salt Lake City mayoral race once official results are released next week. As of late Tuesday night incumbent Ralph Becker was behind by 1,450 votes.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says at least 10,000 ballots county-wide will need to be counted in coming days before Salt Lake City residents can say for certain who has been elected as their mayor. 

Salt Lake City resident Matt LaPlante isn’t waiting to declare that, in his home at least, Biskupski is mayor of his city and he says the news should be celebrated.

“Low and behold it appears, at this point, that we have elected a gay women to be our mayor in Salt Lake City,” he said. “And I think that is kinda wonderful.”

The Utah State University journalism professor began his Wednesday morning posting thoughts about the race and directing his comments to his eight year old daughter, Spike.

“I think it is really great, regardless of how I feel about Jackie Biskupski or Ralph Becker. My daughter gets to grow up in a world in which very important political figures in her life, in her development and in her memory are not going to be rich white guys.  People who look like me have been in charge for a very long time.  That is not my idea of America.”

LaPlante says the beauty of this race for mayor in Utah’s largest city was more about what topics were not discussed on campaign billboards, radio and television ads, and during public debates- the fact that Biskupski is gay.

“I don’t think very many Salt Lake voters were unaware of that part of her demographics when they voted, but it wasn’t a campaign issue. There were a lot of people who were not happy with Mayor Becker’s leadership on many different fronts,” LaPlante said.

Biskupski’s campaign spokeswomen Maryann Martindale says campaign staffers have analyzed the results and they don’t foresee a scenario where Becker can make up the deficit.