BYU student candidate loses in Provo City Council election



    Jon Selden, BYU political science major and Provo City Council candidate hit the sack Tuesday night tired and beat.

    After three weeks of heavy campaigning as Provo’s first write-in candidate in 20 years, Selden lost the vote for the City-Wide II City Council seat by a chasm to Stan Lockhart and with it his hopes of making city government more student -oriented.

    “It’s been good, it’s been fun,” Selden said, “I’m on top of the world.”

    Going door to door talking to residents and getting into the more grassroots aspects of politics has left its impression on Selden.

    “It’s endeared me to (politics),” he said

    Selden came away with 1.3 percent of the votes, Brent McQuarrie with 15.9 percent and Lockhart with 82.7 percent of the votes.

    “I’m just looking forward to four years of service,” Lockhart said.

    For other seats on the City Council, underdog Melanie McCoard lost in hair-splitting close race to incumbent Mark Hathaway. McCoard came away with 48.4 percent of the votes.

    Hathaway was unavailable for comment.

    “There are two votes on City Council that need to be replaced, and those are Mark Hathaway and David Rail,” McCoard said.

    McCoard, a proponent of limiting terms, said that after two terms in office Council members have a tendency to loose their edge. Both Poulsen and Hathaway will begin a third term at the beginning of the year.

    Rail, a two-term, eight-year incumbent lost to 67-year-old Barbara Sandstrom in another close race. Sandstrom came away with 51.9 percent of the votes.

    “I’ve never run for a political office before,” Sandstrom said. “I just decided at this time in my life I’d really like to get involved.”

    First-time runner Richard Dougan lost to incumbent Dennis Poulsen by the second largest margin of the night. Dougan came away with 25.2 percent of the votes.

    Of the nine candidates, Hathaway, Rail and Poulsen were the incumbents defending three of the four open seats.

    In all, of the 56,292 registered voters in Provo, 10,636 came out and voted Tuesday, making about 18.8 percent of registered voters.

    The new Council members will have the chance to learn from the old at a mountain retreat later in the month. They will take their seats at the first City Council meeting of the year, the first Tuesday in January.

    Both Sandstrom and Lockhart are looking forward to getting to work. Lockhart said Provo’s biggest problem is not growth like some of the other candidates have claimed, but rather the side-effects of growth. Things like heavier traffic and shortage of parking are the real issues Provo faces, Lockhart said.

    However, all candidates agreed Provo growth is being heavily influenced by growth of the UVSC student body.

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email