Election Issue 2008 | The Underdog Issue 

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The underdogs, the cage-fight and Kahlúa drinkers for Nader. Utah elections are typically snoozefests. We go through the motions, but everybody usually knows the winner before the first vote is cast. In a state accustomed to electing leaders by acclamation, the outcome is ordained. Add in widespread gerrymandering that cuts the state into dog-legged “safe” districts for incumbents, and it takes a small miracle for an underdog to get elected. Kind of makes you wonder why we spent millions on those newfangled voting machines.

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But, sometimes, the world spins off its axis. Case in point: Democrat Peter Corroon, first elected mayor of Salt Lake County in 2004. Running on a strong platform of government reform, political neophyte Corroon upset ethically challenged incumbent Nancy Workman and has been as popular as fry sauce ever since. Corroon is up for re-election Nov. 4.

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Among other offerings in this election issue, City Weekly took up with this year’s political underdogs to find out what enticed them to run while facing almost certain public humiliation.

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Some, like Bob Springmeyer (Democratic candidate for governor) are true long shots—good soldiers running at the request of party bosses. Michael Renckert plays the part for the GOP. Until he threw his name in just hours before the filing deadline, Republicans nearly had “Superdell” Schanze as their candidate in the Salt Lake County mayor’s race. Schanze then changed parties and ran for governor.

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Other underdogs we profile might just be able to squeak out a win—at least they thought they could when they entered the race. And there is more inside, including:

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A look at the four Salt Lake County Council races

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Bill Frost’s thoughtful handwriting analysis of Superdell’s filing to run for governor
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A not-so-scientific poll of voters at a few unique venues
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Expert predictions on who would win a cage match between Barack Obama and John McCain—by actual fighters
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Also, at SLWeekly.com, check out an exclusive story, featuring the views of Paul Mero and Wilfred Samuels, about the impact of race on Utah’s presidential election.

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So enjoy our take on this election’s menagerie of political animals. All we ask in return is that you vote. Vote early, vote by mail or stand in line at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

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Sure, you live in Utah. But, for at least one underdog, your vote might actually count.

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EVERY UNDERDOG HAS HIS (OR HER) DAY
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TIPPING THE BALANCE This could be the Democrat's year to shift power on the Salt Lake County Council
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ELECTION OCHO "Superdell" Schanze's declaration of candidacy for governor of Utah
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SURVEY SAYS Never count out the strip-club patron or the weiner-eater vote

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CAGE MATCH Why not make this McCain-Obama thing a real fight?

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: WOULD UTAHNS ELECT A BLACK PRESIDENT?

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