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Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, seeking a third term in office, picked up key endorsements Thursday from five of the seven members of the City Council.
Also on hand for the news conference on the east steps of City Hall was former councilman Carlton Christensen; Richard Snelgrove, chairman of the Salt Lake County Council; Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson, and several mayors from other Wasatch Front municipalities.
They lauded Becker for his vision, collaboration and remaking Salt Lake City into a more vibrant place, as well as his environmental efforts.
Becker told his audience the mayor's race is tight.
A new Dan Jones & Associates poll posted on Utahpolicy.com Thursday had Biskupski ahead 49 percent to 44 percent. The poll of 330 likely voters has a margin of error of 5.38 percent, making it a statistical dead heat.
Biskupski leads narrowly among Democrats and "overwhelmingly" 18 percentage points among independents, while Becker has a big lead (16 points) among Republicans, according to the poll.
Salt Lake City is one of the few Democratic bastions in Utah.
Becker is a clear favorite among City Council members, winning the endorsement Thursday of James Rogers, Kyle LaMalfa, Stan Penfold, Erin Mendenhall and Lisa Adams.
Council Chairman Luke Garrott, who ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Becker, is not endorsing him. And Charlie Luke, who is seeking re-election in District 6, said he is neutral in the mayor's race.
"I really love the direction the city is going under Ralph," Penfold said. "He brings people together and he gets things done."
LaMalfa, who represents the west-side communities of Glendale and Poplar Grove, said he's excited about the administration's new master plan for his area.
"The city is on the right track," LaMalfa said. "The momentum in our community is positive."
Adams, too, said Becker is taking the city in the right direction.
"I appreciate the fact that I can disagree with him and we can remain friends and find common ground," she said.
Becker said he was "humbled" by the support and asked voters to consider the choice before them. "Look at the two of us. And look at who can do the best job," he said. "And let me finish what I have started."