SALT LAKE CITY -- Shireen Ghorbani is entering the race for Salt Lake County Mayor to replace Ben McAdams, FOX 13 has learned.
Ghorbani's campaign sent notice to delegates of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party's Central Committee on Saturday announcing her plans to run for the mayor's seat. She will challenge Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, who announced on Friday her intentions to seek the mayor's seat.
Ghorbani, the former Democratic 2nd Congressional District candidate was widely popular in Salt Lake County, winning it handily against incumbent Republican Chris Stewart (who won the race in other parts of the district that stretches from Davis County to Washington County).
"We have been out there in the community standing on doorsteps and the issues I heard over and over again are things like affordable housing, addiction treatment, homeless services," she told FOX 13 on Saturday, confirming her run and adding: "I do bring fresh eyes and fresh energy to addressing and thinking through the big challenges we face."
Ghorbani has developed a devoted following amongst Democrats in the last election cycle. Candidates for the seat will also have to commit to seek re-election in 2020.
She will face a politically savvy Wilson, who is the first woman ever elected to the Salt Lake County Council and in the middle of her second term. Wilson also has a strong following amongst Democrats. She lost her recent race for U.S. Senate to Mitt Romney.
Other candidates may jump into the race to replace McAdams, who will resign now that he has been elected to the 4th Congressional District after defeating incumbent Republican Mia Love. The Salt Lake County Democratic Party's Central Committee, made up of about 1,100 members, has 30 days after the vacancy to pick a replacement to fill the remainder of McAdams' term as mayor.
The Salt Lake County Mayor's Office is politically powerful exercising influence statewide. It controls a billion dollar budget and oversees policy for Utah's most populous county.