Becker’s In for a Third Run

Ralph Becker officially launched his bid for a third term as Salt Lake City Mayor on Monday morning.

If he's successful, he'd join Ted Wilson and J. Bracken Lee as the only mayors in recent memory to win a third term in office.

"For me, whether or not to run for mayor comes down to two questions," said Becker at a morning press conference. "First, do I have the energy and commitment to serve as I have for the past seven years? Unequivocally, the answer is yes! Second, are there goals for Salt Lake City that I can help contribute to accomplishing? Again, the answer for me is a definitive yes."

What are those goals? Becker says chief among them is the Mountain Accord.

"We have an incredible jewel in the Wasatch Mountains here. I launched this effort to bring all of the interests together to take a look and try and provide guidance for the next generation going forward. I want to do everything I can to see this effort go forward and to see it implemented."

Becker also mentioned moving ahead with the new Salt Lake City International Airport as another reason why he wants to stay for a third go-around.

Incumbency presents some advantages for Becker. He starts with a sizeable campaign war chest with more than $200,000. He also gets out in front of any potential challengers with his early announcement.

His first challenger is Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott who threw his hat in the ring shortly after Becker's official announcement. 

Garrott said in a statement given to City Weekly, "Ralph [Becker] has spent eight years catering to big-dollar, luxury and legacy projects. People must be the top priority for Salt Lake City’s mayor. We should focus instead on making home ownership and living in the city more affordable, attracting better paying jobs, and improving public education and opportunities for our children.”

Former Rep. Jackie Biskupsi is on the list as another possible challenger to Becker. In August she was conducing public opinion polling to gauge enthusiasm for a possible run.

The last time Salt Lake City voters denied an incumbent mayor another term in office was Conrad Harrison who lost his bid for another term to Ted Wilson in 1975.