Salt Lake County Mayor candidates discuss air pollution, homelessness and health care during debate

SANDY, Utah — The four candidates in the running to become the next mayor of Salt Lake County faced off in a debate Thursday, moderated by FOX 13’s Ben Winslow.

The county mayor position was vacated when Ben McAdams won the race to represent Utah’s 4th Congressional district in the House of Representatives.

The candidate who wins this race will serve the final two years of the term.

Among the issues debated were air pollution, the homeless, health care and the county’s massive growth.

County council member Jenny Wilson believes her experience makes her best suited to tackle those issues while helping the Utah Democratic party in the future.

“I feel prepared to win in 2020,” Wilson said. “I work hard, I care about down-ballot candidates and I think in 2020, Democrats can make some gains.”

Another county council member, Arlyn Bradshaw, is proud of his public service record at the county level that he believes will help him lead on critical issues like air pollution.

“The county mayor needs to work with individual municipalities and the state to identify regional solutions that are going to deliver on air quality,” Bradshaw said.

Stone Fonua touted his experience as a businessman. He wants to find ways to cut wasteful spending and redirect those funds to be put to better use to eliminate poverty and homelessness.

“When I get in, I will weed out the ones that don’t work and put in new innovation ideas I have to fund homeless,” Fonua said.

Shireen Ghorbani pointed out Ben McAdams didn’t have any experience serving at the county level before being elected mayor. She sees this as an exciting, but challenging period of growth for the county.

“That growth is going to impact every aspect of our lives,” Ghorbani said. “We are going to have to work harder to clean up our air, to increase access to transportation and to ensure that we have affordable housing,”

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party’s Central Committee will select a new county mayor during a vote Saturday morning in Draper.

Watch the debate here:

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