Murray Mayoral Candidate David Wilde announced yesterday that he was withdrawing from the race after learning that a previous cancer diagnosis had since spread to his bones.
Dave and I have frequently found ourselves on opposing sides of the political aisle, but I’ve always admired him, even in my sometimes deep frustration with his policy choices. The Wildes have been close family friends for nearly my entire life. Wilde’s daughter and I went to elementary, junior high and high school together. Dave and my dad have been colleagues for years in various ecclesiastical roles. I’m deeply saddened by this news.
Although Wilde had hoped his withdrawal before election results were officially certified would allow third place candidate Jim Brass to move on to the general election, it’s likely that, according to the Murray City attorney, Wilde’s first-place opponent Ted Eyre will automatically be handed the election.
Wilde’s withdrawal has the unfortunate effect of underscoring the importance of improving voter turnout during the municipal elections–even the primaries. I’ve written extensively on local government over the past couple of weeks (some might argue to exhaustion) here and here, and opined in the Salt Lake Tribune about low voter turnout during this year’s municipal elections. Murray had about a 20% voter turnout, and of that 20%, about a 1/3 voted for Eyre. That means that the Murray Mayor, who will represent a city of nearly 50,000 people, was selected by just under 2000 voters.
I have a great deal of love and respect for Dave and his family. I wish him the best.