After by-mail votes were counted early Thursday evening, Kitchen led with 1,271 votes, or 36.2 percent.
Behind him was Nate Salazar with 17.9 percent; Miles Petty with 16.2 percent; Babs De Lay, 15.6 percent; and Jen Colby, 14 percent.
Kitchen's apparent advance was part of an interesting day for the LGBT community. Also advancing was openly gay mayoral candidate Jackie Biskupski and De Lay was still alive. Also, Midvale City Council candidate Sophia Hawes-Tingey advanced to the general election in her bid to become the first openly transgender Utahn to win public office.
Meanwhile, primaries Tuesday were generally kind to incumbents in city council races in Salt Lake County with five of the six running appearing to advance.
The only incumbent likely eliminated was Irvin Jones in South Salt Lake. Many residents there are upset that the current city council, including Irvin, voted to close two city streets to allow a car dealership to consolidate land. Two other incumbents who voted for it had filed for reelection, but dropped out.
Incumbents who appeared to be on their way to advancing Tuesday night were: Steven Gunn in Holladay; Paul C. Glover in Midvale; Chuck Newton in South Jordan; Chris McConnehey in West Jordan; and Tom Huynh in West Valley City.
Salt Lake City • Probably the most watched of all the city council races was in Salt Lake City District 4, which stretches from Interstate 15 to the University of Utah, and from South Temple to 900 South. Candidates focused on such issues as homelessness, affordable housing and fixing up streets and other public facilities.
Kitchen, who operates a Middle eastern food production company, said he feels he advanced because "my focus on community and economic development has really resonated," he said. "Salt Lake City is growing, and that creates a lot of concerns. We need to focus on the longer term plans for our community."
Salazar, who works for the United Way as a community school director, said., "I'm not sure why the race is so close with the last four of us. We had a long list of strong candidates." He added, " It's going to be a long seven days. But I think our second place standing will hold and look forward to being in the final."
De Lay, a Realtor, talking about the neck-and-neck race said, "We'll be excited to see what the voters want."
Miles Petty said that running his pie business means he'll be too busy to be nervous" while he waits a week for results, and is "not nervous but optimistic." He said the race is close "because so many people ran and so many people care."
Colby, said issues she found to be most import were air quality, parks and recreation, and helping the homeless. "There was also a lot of door-knocking, bread-and-butter issues like improving streets and gutters, reducing noise and similar quality of life issues."
West Valley City • In the state's second largest city, icumbent Tom Huynh cruised with 65 percent of the vote in the District 1 race. Also advancing is former state Rep. Larry Wiley who received 24.4 percent of the vote.
Huynh is the first minority to serve on the council. He escaped from Vietnam at age 19, and made his way to a refugee camp in the Philippines before immigrating to America.
Midvale • In District 2, Sophia Hawes-Tingey seeks to become the first transgender Utahn elected to public office, and appeared to advance with . She had 38.9 percent of the vote. Incumbent Paul Glover had 54. percent.
South Jordan • Seven of the 13 candidates in city council races earlier said they entered primarily in reaction to a previous move by the council to replace Mulligans Golf & Games on the Jordan River with more lucrative development. Three of them appeared to advance to the general election.
In District 1, where Mulligans is located, Mulligans supporters Patrick Harris and Thomas Geilmann appeared to advance. Harris had 45.7 percent of the vote, Geilmann had 28.9 percent. They are campaigning to replace incumbent Mark Seethaler, who did not run.
In District 2, Mulligans supporter Brad Marlor appeared to advance with 41.8 percent of the vote, as did incumbent Chuck Newton with 39.6 percent.
In District 4, where no candidates said they entered the race specifically because of the Mulligans issue, Tamara Zander appeared to advance with 61 percent as did John H. Geilmann with 26.5 percent.
Thomas Geilmann in District 1 and John Geilmann in District 4 are brothers.
South Salt Lake • Many voters were upset over the current council voting to close two public streets to allow Salt Lake Valley Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM to consolidate its property.
Councilmen Ryan Gold and Roy Turner, who had supported the road closure, originally filed as candidates but later dropped out of the race as numerous challengers filed against them.
Irvin Jones, the only incumbent seeking re-election in the Tuesday primary, voted in favor of the closure and paid for it. In his District 5 race, he finished third of three in election-night results, with only 23.8 percent of the vote. Those advancing appeared to be L. Shane Siwik with 41.8 percent, and Jill Coil with 34.4 percent.
In the District 1 race to replace Gold, Ben Pender and Lynn Black appeared to advance, with 41.1 and 31.7 percent respectively.
In the District 4 race to replace Turner, Portia Mila appeared to advance with 54.3 percent of the vote along with Johnny McConnell, who had 26 percent.
West Jordan • In Council District 1, incumbent Chris McConnehey who has tried to be the peacemaker on a fractious council advanced with 46.2 percent of the vote. But who his challenger will be is still up in the air. Kevin Mertin had 27.6 percent of the vote, and Jay Thomas had 26.2 percent with many by-mail votes still possibly coming.
Herriman • In District 1, Bethany Zeyer appeared to advance with 40.8 percent of the 644 votes cast.
But who her challenger will be was undecided. Jared Henderson had 28 percent of the vote and Steve Garrett had 26.7 percent again with more by-mail votes possibly yet to be delivered in coming days.
In District 4, Nicole Martin and David Watts appeared to advance, with 45.5 and 31.7 percent, respectively.
Holladay • In District 4, incumbent Steven Gunn cruised with 76.6 percent of the 1,148 votes cast.
The two other challengers were close enough that still-coming, by-mail ballots could make a difference. Mitchell Smoot had 12.7 percent of the vote and Mark Olsen had 10.7 percent.