Mayor Jackie Biskupski endorses Luz Escamilla in SLC mayor’s race

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Jackie Biskupski has endorsed Luz Escamilla to replace her in City Hall.

At a news conference with LGBTQ community leaders, Mayor Biskupski noted the historical significance of her election as Salt Lake City’s first openly-gay mayor and then praised Escamilla — a Latina — as another “trailblazer.”

“I am endorsing Luz Escamilla because she will bring a fresh and different perspective to city hall,” the mayor said.

Escamilla said she’s proud to have the endorsement and told reporters she is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community. Mayor Biskupski was joined by Salt Lake County Councilman Arlyn Bradshaw, former Utah Pride Center director Carol Gnade, and same-sex marriage plaintiff Laurie Wood in supporting Escamilla.

“A lot of firsts for her and, you know, she really has opened doors for many,” Escamilla said of the mayor’s endorsement. “To me, it’s an honor.”

Mayor Biskupski has signaled her support for Escamilla in the past. The mayor’s wife, Betty Iverson, has been a contributor to Escamilla’s campaign. The mayor told FOX 13 she intended to also contribute.

“Absolutely, I will,” Mayor Biskupski said. “And I will ask others to do the same. We have an opportunity here to elect another trailblazer.”

Speaking to reporters at her own event announcing her tech-centered economic development plans, Erin Mendenhall downplayed the mayor’s choice of successor.

“It’s been pretty explicit all along the campaign trail,” Mendenhall said Monday. “It didn’t seem to have an impact on voters’ decision in the primary and I’m not worried about it today.”

Mendenhall toured a biopharmaceutical company and touted her initiatives to make the city more open to startups.

In the last few weeks of campaigning, Mendenhall and Escamilla will be debating almost daily.

The debates are:

  • Oct 7 – Greater Avenues Candidate Night
  • Oct 9 – Downtown Alliance debate
  • Oct 10 – Salt Lake Community Network
  • Oct 10 – Environmental Debate at Main Library
  • Oct 14 – FOX 13/Salt Lake Tribune Debate at SLC Main Library (broadcast Oct. 15 at noon on FOX 13)
  • Oct 17 – KRCL/Impact Hub debate
  • Oct 21 – Pioneer Park debate
  • Oct 23 – Small Business debate at Main Library
  • Oct 24 – The Westside Coalition
  • Oct 28 – U of U Pride Week Town Hall
  • Oct 30 – Rotary club Debate at the Alta Club
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