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McKenna and Cooke talk June Summit County primary

Megan McKenna (left) and Thomas Cooke (right)
Megan McKenna (left) and Thomas Cooke (right)

The two Democratic candidates in the race for Summit County Council seat C tied at Tuesday’s convention.

The 61-60 vote narrowly favored Mountainlands Community Housing Trust advocate and former Park City High School teacher Megan McKenna.

Her opponent, 7-year Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Thomas Cooke said their policy objectives are similar.

“What I heard a lot from people was, ‘I wish you weren't running against each other.’ But we differ on our experiences and skill sets,” Cooke told KPCW.

Both are focused on the growth and development issues facing Summit County. The difference, McKenna agrees, is in their backgrounds and approaches.

“As someone who grew up here, and someone who lives in affordable housing, and as a local member of the workforce, I definitely have a different perspective going into it,” she said.

Cooke points to his experience designing and applying code as a planning commissioner. McKenna highlights her experience in advocacy and willingness to collaborate.

“Meaningful solutions will require pragmatism, collaboration and compromise. Change is inevitable, but sustainability and affordability are not,” she said at the March 26 convention.

In his speech, Cooke said not to forget existing residents.

“Growth is not coming; growth is here,” he told delegates. “We do not have to surrender to it. We have to shape it with a strong community vision and planning tools that align with the vision. And take great care in ensuring growth is about benefiting people, not simply profitability.”

On the Summit County Council, they would hear appeals from both the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County planning commissions as well as negotiate development agreements with companies.

Of the 131 Democratic delegates, 122 voted Tuesday night. Because neither McKenna nor Cooke garnered more than 60% of the vote, there will be a primary June 25.

Registered Democrats and anyone who requests a Democratic ballot can participate.

To request a Democratic ballot, download and complete the ballot request form on the Summit County Clerk’s website. The deadline to submit it is June 14.

Anyone may request a Democratic ballot at polling places in person June 25, or during early voting June 20, 21, 22 or 24, the clerk’s office said.

The winner of the primary faces Republican Ari Ioannides [eye oh knee deez], the North Summit Fire District treasurer, in the Nov. 5 general election.

He is running unopposed since former Francis Mayor Byron Ames withdrew from the race.

Ioannides is expected to be nominated at the Summit County Republican Nominating Convention Tuesday, April 2, also at Ecker Hill Middle School.

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