SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert waded into the hotly contested mayor’s race, signaling his preference for three candidates.
Speaking to reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED, the governor noted that air quality has become a major theme in the race.
“A very important issue for me is this idea that I hear expressed of better collaboration and cooperation from Salt Lake City, our capital city, and the state of Utah. And I think that’s really significantly important. We have not seen that a lot in the past. We need to see that more in the future,” he said. “So I hope whoever’s elected to be the mayor of Salt Lake City this next go-round understands they need to work with the governor and the legislature.”
Salt Lake City, which is a liberal island in a conservative state, has frequently clashed with the state on issues. But the governor noted that a vast majority of legislation has passed with bipartisan support.
Asked by FOX 13 if there’s any particular candidate he favors, the governor declined to specifically endorse anyone but said he liked three candidates: Erin Mendenhall, Luz Escamilla and David Ibarra.
The governor called Mendenhall a good chairwoman of the Salt Lake City Council who stepped forward on the inland port; Escamilla understands the needs of her district and can bring people together; and Ibarra he described as a businessman who understands the free market system.
“I hope we have someone again, that has good values, good principles and is willing to cooperate and collaborate with the state,” he said.
There are eight people running to replace Mayor Jackie Biskupski, who has decided not to seek re-election.