Biskupski leads Becker in SLC mayoral race, but he won’t concede

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SALT LAKE CITY -- If her lead holds when the ballots are made official on November 17, Jackie Biskupski will make history as the first openly-gay mayor of Utah's Capitol City.

But Biskupski will have to wait a couple of weeks for the official canvass to know if her five percent lead over incumbent Mayor Ralph Becker will hold. On Tuesday night, Becker would not concede the close race.

"There are so many votes outstanding. We have votes that haven't been counted tonight and I'm told there are many thousands of votes that will be coming in over the next couple of days," Becker told FOX 13's Caroline Connolly.

At Biskupski's election night party, she told supporters to celebrate their lead -- and she did not expect the margin to change. In an interview with FOX 13, Biskupski said she expected a concession from Becker on Tuesday night.

It didn't happen.

"I'm one of those candidates that's won by 11 votes and lost by 43," she told reporters late in the evening. "I get it."

Jackie Biskupski watches polling numbers come in on Tuesday night. (Photo via Ben Winslow)

Jackie Biskupski watches polling numbers come in on Tuesday night. (Photo via Ben Winslow)

Biskupski said she finally reflected Tuesday on the historic nature of her election, being a woman and a lesbian in a conservative state like Utah.

"It matters. It matters especially for women, for people of color that you can get elected in a conservative state based on your merits and not who you are. Not my gender, not my sexual orientation. We've gone past that," she told FOX 13's Ben Winslow. "We've gone beyond that in this community and embraced people for their ability to lead and affect change."

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Biskupski had roughly 52-percent of the votes to Becker's 47-percent. The results stayed the same since the first blast of mail-in ballots were announced about 8:30 p.m.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker speaks to supporters on Election night. (Photo via Caroline Connolly)

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker speaks to supporters on Election night. (Photo via Caroline Connolly)

Salt Lake City was largely a vote-by-mail election, with ballots being mailed out a month in advance. Only four polling locations were open for people to vote in person. At Trolley Square, polls stated open past the 8 p.m. deadline to allow those already in line the ability to vote. People were also able to hand-deliver their ballots to the county clerk to be counted.

It's those ballots that Becker, who is seeking his third term, is waiting on.

"I certainly recognize Jackie's ahead, but there's so many thousands of votes outstanding and the margin of difference right now is 1,500 votes," Becker said. "We have to wait and see what those votes look like."

SALT LAKE CITY COUNCIL RESULTS

In the three Salt Lake City Council races up for grabs, preliminary results showed Andrew Johnston had a lead over former councilman Van Turner. Charlie Luke won re-election to the city council over Tracey Harty.

Derek Kitchen, who sued the state of Utah over its same-sex marriage ban, appeared to have won election in District 4, which oversees the downtown area. His challenger, Nate Salazar, issued a statement congratulating him on the lead with 130 votes between them.

 

Tiffany DeMasters November 3, 20157:13 pm

Tiffany DeMasters November 3, 20157:13 pm

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Tiffany DeMasters November 3, 20157:36 pm

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Tiffany DeMasters November 3, 20157:46 pm

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Tiffany DeMasters November 3, 20158:03 pm

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