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Although he warned followers last week he might not be able to continue to the November general election because of cancer, Fred Healey survived Tuesday's primary as one of two candidates to become the first mayor of Millcreek.

Healey finished second behind fellow incorporation leader Jeff Silvestrini — a Salt Lake City lawyer active for more than two decades in Mount Olympus community affairs — who garnered 32.5 percent of the vote in unofficial results Tuesday from the Salt Lake County clerk's office.

But it's questionable whether Healey, a 67-year-old businessman, will go on after collecting 26.5 percent.

He disclosed Thursday that he has an aggressive form of kidney cancer. He acknowledged that surgery and treatments could leave him too weak to continue and encouraged supporters dismayed by his news to vote for Silvestrini, a comrade-in-arms in the contentious fight that will make Millcreek the county's 17th city Jan. 1, 2017.

If Healey were to withdraw now, County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said Tuesday, his place would be left blank on the November general election ballot, leaving Silvestrini unopposed.

A similar situation occurred in 2013. Former County Councilman David Wilde finished second to Ted Eyre in a Murray mayoral primary, then pulled out after the vote upon learning his cancer had returned aggressively. Wilde died last September.

This case is a bit different, Swensen said, because Healey learned of his illness before the primary and was told, verbally and in an email Monday, that he could withdraw.

"We wanted to make sure he had the right information about being able to withdraw," she said. "Candidates do it all the time. There's nothing to force a candidate to stay in the race. … He said he would take the information into consideration, but he never withdrew."

If he had, Swensen said, notice of his exit would have been posted at all voting centers and on the clerk's website. Votes cast for Healey "would not have been tabulated."

As it was, they all were.

And that may have been good enough to lift Healey out of the crowded primary field of nine candidates, most notably above third-place contender Scott Howell, a former state senator whose ongoing government consulting work includes a position with the Pioneer Park Coalition. Howell received under 17 percent of the vote.

Silvestrini, 62, built a sizable lead in early returns, capitalizing on a fundraising campaign that collected more money than Healey and Howell combined.

His campaign emphasized his knowledge of community issues and local-government players through a quarter century of work with the Mount Olympus Community Council and the Millcreek Township Council.

That work convinced Silvestrini that while the county did many things well, "I knew we could do better as a city." So he was an outspoken advocate of incorporation "to protect our boundaries, improve our representation and enhance a sense of community in Millcreek."

He believes, as does Healey, that Millcreek should withdraw from the county's newly established Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District as soon as it can and then negotiate with the district — and possibly other providers — to get the best deal available for public-works services.

Healey, a businessman, said he would emphasize planning and zoning approaches that provided for private-sector-driven redevelopment of commercial zones.

Unofficial municipal-race results

City of Millcreek


(top two advance)

Phillip Archer 197

Craig Cook 681

Edward Frank 64

x-Fred Healey 2,987

Scott Howell 1,909

Becky Moss 358

x-Jeff Silvestrini 3,667

Verdi White 650

Jo-Ann Wong 778

City Council 1

(top two advance)

x-Silvia Catten 490

x- Diane Angus 401

Garlyn Hendry 191

Thomas Richards 190

Lorrin Colby Jr. 78

City Council 2

(top two advance)

x-Dwight Marchant 697

x-Dwayne A. Vance 536

Rivka Richman 367

John Douglas 163

City Council 3

(top two advance)

x-Cheri M. Jackson 1,268

x-Jem Keller 831

Don Willie 466

Adam Zimmerman 252

Jeffrey Waters 223

Bob Supe 136

John W. Lish 111

City Council 4

(top two advance)

x-Bev Uipi 1,007

Seraya Amirthalingam 863

Lamont Tyler 754

Lisa H. Bagley 750

Barry B. Bowen 411

Robert S. Beardshall 183

Kurt Zimmerman 165

Vaughn Howard 106