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The City Journals

Upcoming Murray Mayor’s race wide open

Jul 15, 2021 11:10AM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Murray City’s new mayor will be among the first to walk inside the new City Hall building. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Although he broke ground for the new City Hall, Murray Mayor Blair Camp will not have the opportunity to be the first person to sit in the new mayor’s office. After one term in office, Camp has decided not to run for a second term. Camp, who previously served on the City Council, will wrap up his time in office after presiding over the city through a pandemic and contentious development issues—namely, the Murray City Center District. 

In city addresses, Camp routinely presented a Murray Eagle headline from the 1970s of Murray City leaders drawing plans up for the redevelopment of downtown Murray. Decades later, the city is finally moving on projects with the fire department headquarters erected and the City Hall under construction. The final hurdle will be the redevelopment of State Street between 4800 South and 5th Avenue, which contains some of the oldest commercial buildings in Murray.

Development plans came to a screeching halt during the pandemic when city revenue fell through the floor. Apart from City Hall, major projects like the Murray Theater are on indefinite hold. The city’s revenue projections have brightened this year, with help from federal COVID relief funds, yet several projects, like the theater, have yet to get the green light.

Four candidates filed to run in the mayoral race: Clark Bullen, Adam Fitzgerald, Brett Hales, and Alexander Teemsma.

City Councilman Hales hopes to make the same jump from City Council to Mayor’s Office as Camp. Hales, first elected in 2012, has represented Council District 5 for three terms. Prior to that, Hales was Vice President of Cyprus Credit Union.

Hales, who has multiple sclerosis, made headlines supporting the use of medical cannabis. He advocated at the Utah State Legislature for the successful passing of legislation allowing marijuana for specific medical conditions.

Bullen, who presently serves on the Murray Arts Advisory Board, officially lists his profession as Employee Benefits Account Manager at the insurance firm CUI Agency. Bullen might be more familiar as an actor appearing most recently in Netflix’s documentary “Murder Among the Mormons.”

Another mayoral candidate also working in financial securities is Adam Kent Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was recognized for his poetry in 1994 by the Murray Arts Council.

BYU graduate Alexander Teemsma is the final candidate for mayor. Teemsma, in a recent City Council meeting, indicated he was a rental property owner.

City Councilman Dale Cox will also be another one-and-done Murray City leader. The former AFL-CIO president of Utah has represented the west Murray Council District 2 since 2018 but decided against a second run for the council. 

Hoping to replace Cox is a former member of the city council—Pamela Cotter. Cotter was appointed as an interim member of the City Council for Camp’s seat when he was made interim mayor in 2018, to fill out the rest of Mayor Ted Eyre’s term when he died in office. Cotter served for three months until Cox was elected and sworn in.

Attorney Joe Silverzweig will challenge Cotter for District 2. Silverzweig, according to his LinkedIn profile, currently serves as government affairs manager for Comcast.

As the only two candidates for their council district, both Cotter and Silverzweig move forward to the general election.

Incumbent Diane Turner seeks a third term in east Murray’s City Council District 4. Turner was first elected in 2014 and briefly served as Murray’s first female mayor immediately following the death of Mayor Ted Eyre in 2017.

Turner’s challengers in the primary will include environmental scientist Daren Rasmussen, who works for the State of Utah Department of Natural Resources, and Skylar Galt, a financial advisor with Mountain West Advisors.

Murray City’s Primary Election will be held on Aug. 10; the two leading vote getters for each race will face each other in the General Election on Nov. 2. See www.got-vote.org for more details regarding voter registration and elections.