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From fundraising figures, it is apparent that the most spirited Salt Lake County race this fall involves the at-large seat held by Republican businessman Richard Snelgrove.
His opponent, Democratic attorney Catherine Kanter, has raised $206,272 this year in an effort to unseat Snelgrove and wrest control of the County Council from the GOP, which now has a slim 5-4 majority. The incumbent has raised $55,610.
"I've got a bull's-eye on my back," said Snelgrove, a Murray resident who has served one six-year council term. "The Democrats want desperately, as evidenced by the money involved, to gain back control of the council."
Kanter said she cannot speak to what county Democrats want, but she is working diligently to unseat Snelgrove and bring a less conservative, what she believes is a more representative voice to the council.
"I'm new and fresh leadership who is going to bring a new perspective to politics," she said, calling Snelgrove the most "ideologically conservative" County Council member.
He, in turn, labeled her as "well connected in liberal circles" both here and elsewhere. Snelgrove pointed to $48,000 in contributions from the candidate, her husband and members of his family as examples of an elitist effort to influence the election.
"My family members don't have the ability to support me like that," he said, positioning himself as a defender of the little guy. "Everything I do is based on my mindset of what helps the family in Magna or Kearns."
Kanter countered that Snelgrove and his relations have made a higher percentage of campaign donations than her family. She noted that 470 different people contributed to her campaign compared to 80 for Snelgrove.
"The fact I raised this much money indicates my message is resonating with Salt Lake County residents," Kanter said. "His isn't grassroots support. I have a broader base of support."
The fundraising disparity was disclosed in forms filed Thursday by county candidates. In the last three months, Kanter raised $128,864 to $10,575 for Snelgrove.
With seven weeks left in the campaign, she reported having $50,000 left while he said he had $36,000.
Their campaign featured testy moments this week, when Kanter held a news conference lambasting Snelgrove for putting campaign signs in illegal places, such as on highway overpasses.
He responded that election after election, campaign signs end up in places where they shouldn't be, placed by well-meaning volunteers for both parties. If he finds one is in an inappropriate place, Snelgrove added, he takes it down.
None of the other Salt Lake County races is being contested as hotly as the Snelgrove-Kanter contest.
Democratic Mayor Ben McAdams reported Thursday that he added $167,245 to his campaign account during the quarter, increasing his total this year to $285,365.
His Republican challenger, consultant Dave Robinson, collected just $38,081 over the past three months, $49,500 overall. He said he had $367 remaining in his account as of Thursday, compared to $212,978 for McAdams.
The District 6 race was almost scuttled when Democrat Abigail Wright failed to file by Thursday's deadline. But, after receiving an encouraging call from the county clerk's office, Wright filed her financial-disclosure form Friday afternoon, within a grace period recently allowed by the Legislature, said Clerk Sherrie Swensen.
That form showed she'd raised no money to run against Republican Max Burdick, whose campaign has collected just under $30,000.
Republican incumbent Michael Jensen has raised $33,100 for his District 2 race, where he was unopposed until Jeff White filed as a write-in candidate. White has raised $100.
Democrat Sam Granato is running uncontested for a second term in District 4, but has raised $6,300 this year.