A narrow median in the middle of a Murray thoroughfare offered a symbolic but slightly cramped space for the press conference announcing the “Republicans for Ben McAdams Committee.”
Prior to crossing the street, one Republican volunteer on the Democrat’s Salt Lake County Mayor campaign asked another staffer what he could do to help and was told, “Just make sure no one gets hit.” Shortly thereafter, McAdams and half a dozen Republican members of city and county government cheerily cross the street to fill the island in the middle of Vine Street in Murray.
Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall, who previously supported Republican candidate for county mayor Mike Winder, helped organize the committee following Winder’s narrow loss to rival Mark Crockett earlier this month.
“I encourage all Republicans ... don’t look at party lines, look at the ticket, look at the candidates and look at how well they work with others in getting problems solved, so with my fellow Republican elected office behind me I would encourage you all to vote for Ben McAdams for Mayor,” Wall said.
McAdams took the podium over the roar of noisy truck exhausts and the occasional honk of support to announce the committee of conservative supporters flanking him that included six mayors like Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan and Riverton Mayor Bill Applegarth to city council members such as Salt Lake City Councilman Carlton Christensen. “We are here in the middle of the road, not on the left not, not on the right, but in the middle,” McAdams said. “That is what county government is about; we meet in the middle to move the county forward.”
Sandy City Mayor Tom Dolan said he was throwing his support behind McAdams since he considered McAdams a good ally in planning Salt Lake County’s future growth. “What is Salt Lake County gonna look like in 10, 15 years?” Dolan asked. “Our cities are evolving, communities are evolving and government is evolving. An issue we need to address is whether we’re going to have wall-to-wall cities, more townships ... Ben is open to this discussion and that’s why I support him.”
McAdams, speaking more like a candidate ready to appeal to conservative county voters, struck a note for his collaborative abilities as well as his fiscal conservatism in speaking of the importance of the committee.
“The challenge of ensuring a vibrant, well-managed county while at the same time keeping taxes low and quality of life high is bigger than any one party,” McAdams said.