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A wilderness ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, two former state legislators, several public educators and small-business owners were among 31 West Jordan residents who submitted their names for consideration to fill a vacant City Council seat.


Councilman Jeff Haaga — who caused a stir last year for a hit-and-run misdemeanor after drinking at a local tavern — resigned from his at-large seat last month because of "personal family matters."

The number of candidates was unusual, Mayor Kim Rolfe said, especially for a position that will last for eight months.

"This is the most I've ever seen since I've been a resident of West Jordan, by far," said Rolfe, who says he has lived in the city for 40 years.

Equally unusual is the number of applications from women, who make up about a quarter of the candidate pool.

Women have become more interested in campaigning for public office since the 2016 presidential election, according to Holly Richardson, a former state legislator. The board member for Real Women Run — an organization trying to increase women's involvement in public office — said the trend is local, too.

The Real Women Run Winter Training in January, which teaches women about the ins and outs of running for public office, had the largest turnout in the organization's history, Richardson said.

"And it does not seem to be slowing down at all," she said.

Women comprise a quarter of the candidates in West Jordan's race, which is atypical, according to Richardson.

"I would say, traditionally, when we have vacancies of any kind, I'm happy to see one woman run," Richardson said. "So to have one-fourth [of the field] — I think it's great."

Rolfe, however, said he did not see the number of female candidates as uncommon.

"Many ladies have served on our council," he said. "That's not unusual for West Jordan since I've lived here."

Women involving themselves more in politics and activism, Richardson says, points to a larger trend.

"I think it's a clear response to Donald Trump," she said. "But it's not just running for office. It's also activism. It's people who have never been involved in activism before who want to get involved; I'm seeing a lot of that."

West Jordan has scheduled a City Council meeting for April 27 to interview and appoint a candidate. At the meeting, each candidate will have one minute to answer one question posed by the council, according to a resolution council members passed April 5.

After a first round of voting, in which each council member votes for his first, second, third and fourth choice, the council will conduct final interviews and a final vote. Afterward, it will administer the oath of office to the chosen candidate. —

Candidates for West Jordan City Council

Amy Martz • educator at Fox Hollow Elementary School

Carrie Butler • epidemiology field coordinator

Chad Lamb • advertising media planner and buyer

Courtney Roberts • educator at Hillcrest High School

Newell "Craig" Dearing • former president of the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce

David Newton

David Pack • former West Jordan official

Earl Tanner • former state representative for District 43

Elizabeth Halloran • educator at Westland Elementary School

George Sommer • Fish Tech Outfitters sales associate

Hyrum Matthews • trustee at the Central Utah Federation of Labor

James Dupaix • commercial real estate developer and manager

Jay Thomas • Intermountain Health Care environment of care manager

Jennifer Leek • Jordan Hills Elementary School volunteer

Jim Bird • former state legislator for District 42

John Tromp • retired professional engineer

John Winn • account manager at England Logistics

Kathleen Hilton • administrative assistant at Corner Canyon High and Hillcrest High School

Shauna "Kayleen" Whitelock • former member of the Jordan School District Board of Education

Kelvin Green • Utah National Guard intelligence operations specialist

Kevin Mertin • West Jordan Fire Department battalion chief

Kim Ratcliffe • construction worker

Max Johnson • Salt Lake County planning supervisor, manager and principal planner

Megan Allen • massage therapist

Melchor Francisco • engineer

Michael Johnson • retired Navy officer

Scott Bell • former mining consultant

Steven Jones • process/instrumentation designer

Timothy Beavers • Salt Lake County Flood Control permit engineer

Tyrone Field •, former accounting specialist

Paul Warby • former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints public affairs worker