Rocky mayor again

By Sheena McFarland and Ali Hasnain

The Jewish Community Center was filled on Tuesday night with anxious supporters of incumbent Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, waiting to hear the official election results for this year’s mayoral race between Anderson and fellow Democrat Frank Pignanelli.

They weren’t disappointed. Anderson beat out Pignanelli for his second term as the city’s mayor.

Students at the celebration were happy with the result.

“He does so much for us. He helped bring TRAX to both the U and the Medical Center, which affects a lot of students,” said Dominique Chambless, a junior in both international studies and French.

Chambless said she appreciated Anderson’s four-hour visit to campus Tuesday, which she said showed his dedication and commitment to the U.

“He told me that he really cares about young people because we’re his future,” she said. Representative of the U student environmental group Terra Firma were also on hand in support of Anderson’s contributions to environmental issues and the club.

“Rocky’s been a supporter of Terra Firma…He was very supportive of the Wind Power Campaign and the bicycling community,” among other things, said Kevin Emerson, a U graduate and former director of Terra Firma.

Anthony Mercado, current Terra Firma co-director, said he wasn’t originally sure whether or not he’d vote for Anderson.

Mercado, who recently moved from Oregon, says, “I wasn’t leaning one way or the other.”

After watching Anderson deal with the Main Street Plaza issue, “I wondered about his leadership ability. But then I looked at his time in office, and he really cares about environmental issues, so I decided to support Rocky,” Mercado said.

“He’s not a normal politician. He has his own personal philosophy that backs his career with integrity,” said Evan Brown, a senior in film studies.

According to Brown, the job Anderson has done with Salt Lake City’s downtown shows that, while mistakes have been made, there is still more good which came out of the last two years during his term.

“There are certain things that have gone well and some things that are really bad, such as the Gateway, but he hasn’t totally ignored local business. I understand in politics, there has to be a certain amount of compromise, and I think he’s done well,” Brown said.

Although Pignanelli didn’t win the election, he told his supporters during his concession speech Tuesday night that it is important to back the mayor in his ongoing efforts.

Parker Hill, an undeclared freshman, says he’ll take Pignanelli’s advice.

“I’ll support my elected official, but I will probably challenge his stances on ideas. That’s how we change things,” Hill said.

But Hill still says that Anderson creates more controversy over issues than it’s worth.

But during his victory speech, Anderson focused on working together. He said that, during the campaign, most people were focusing on the differences among the candidates. But he says that now is a good time to look at the community’s similarities.

“It doesn’t matter what religion, race, ethic origin, socioeconomic background or sexual orientation you come from. No matter our differences, our similarities are so much greater.”

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Election Results

With 62 percent of precincts reporting

Rocky Anderson 54 percent

Frank Pignanelli 46 percent

Proposition 1 ZooProposition 2 LeonardoProposition 3 LibraryProposition 4 GreenspaceProposition 5 Rec CenterProposition 6 Aviary