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Jackie Biskupski is the mayor-elect of Salt Lake City.
A final vote count approved Tuesday means the former legislator, as expected, will become the first openly gay mayor of a major Utah city in January.
In City Council races, Andrew Johnston won in District 2, Derek Kitchen was victorious in District 4 and Charlie Luke prevailed in District 6.
It was an emotional afternoon at City Hall with ecstatic Biskupski supporters standing in contrast to a disheartened staff of Mayor Ralph Becker, who delivered a concession speech that had been on hold for two weeks awaiting final official results Tuesday.
The campaign pitted Democrat against Democrat and saw old friends in both camps at odds with each other.
The official canvass showed Biskupski receiving 19,896 votes to Becker's 18,702 – or 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent. That's a 3 percentage-point margin of victory.
The unofficial vote count Nov. 3 had Biskupski beating Ralph Becker 52.1 percent to 47.8 percent, slightly more than a 4-point margin. Becker had declined to concede allowing that while making up the difference with just under 5,000 outstanding ballots was unlikely, it was not impossible.
Biskupski, who in 1999 became the state's first openly gay lawmaker, now will mark another first as mayor of Salt Lake City. The first openly gay mayor in the state was Willy Marshall, who was elected in 2001 to lead the tiny southern Utah town of Big Water.
Equality Utah congratulated Biskupski for "her historic win," said executive director Troy Williams. "Her victory sends a powerful message to all LGBTQ Utahns that their sexual orientation will never be a limitation to public service. We look forward to working alongside Mayor-elect Biskupski to advance policies that will benefit all Utahns."
In an impromptu news conference, Biskupski congratulated the mayor for his eight years in office.
"I am grateful to Mayor Becker for his years of service," she said. "His actions and programs have benefited Salt Lake City."
Biskupski also praised her campaign and voters. "Today is about everyone who made this happen," she said. "We have a lot to do before Jan. 4" inauguration day.
The City Council voted 6-0 to attend Biskupski's victory party Tuesday evening across the street from City Hall after Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall said it would be a show of support and cooperation after five of the members publicly endorsed Becker.
The mayor-elect said she will head up a transition team that will reach out to city employees for input.
"City employees wanted strong leadership that made them feel they were being listened to," she said. "We need to meet with existing staff and figure out how to move forward."
Beyond the transition and appointing a staff, Biskupski said she would move quickly to address the homeless "crisis" downtown.
Becker's commission on siting homeless facilities is due to make recommendations before year's end.
Among Biskupski's priorities is affordable housing. "Too many are spending more than they can afford on housing," she said in an interview Tuesday. "It takes just one crisis to make an untenable situation for these families."
Also at the top of her list is more coordination between the Salt Lake City Police Department and other law-enforcement agencies. The intersection of Interstate 80 with Interstate 15 makes for good commerce but also enhances trafficking of drugs, humans and weapons, she said.
Not least, Biskupski said she would move immediately to improve "the culture" in city government, referring to three female police officers who sued the city for sexual harassment.
"Every employee will understand that working for Salt Lake City is safe and respectful," she said. "We will not tolerate harassment or discrimination."
At the other end of City Hall, Becker gave a gracious concession speech. He congratulated Biskupski on her campaign and pledged to work with her on the upcoming transition.
Becker praised his staff, all city employees and his campaign workers and said his two terms as mayor were the most rewarding of his working career.
"Everyone can look around the city and be proud of the transformation over the last eight years," he said.
Becker noted that months ago, when he began campaigning door to door, he realized he would be fighting an uphill battle in his rare quest for a third term. He trailed Biskupski by 15 points at the Aug. 11 primary but made up a huge amount of ground leading up to the final election.
"I was determined to put my best foot forward," he said. "And I and others have done that.
Becker, who will serve the rest of 2015 as mayor, said he has not formulated a plan for what he will do next.
• Andrew Johnston bested Van Turner in District 2 by a margin of 1,283 votes to 1,151 or 52.7 percent to 47.2 percent. He will replace retiring Councilman Kyle LaMalfa in January.
• Derek Kitchen got 2,503 votes to 2,332 for Nate Salazar 51.7 percent to 48.2 percent. Kitchen will take the District 4 seat being vacated by Luke Garrott.
• Incumbent Charlie Luke prevailed over Tracey Harty by 4,922 vote-to-2,824 vote count 63.5 percent to 36.4 percent in District 6.