BY REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — Three-term Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson will step down at the end of this term, and two candidates are officially vying for his spot.
Beth Holbrook, a banker and sitting city councilwoman, will run against Randy Lewis, who owned a business in Bountiful for 24 years and now works as an administrator at Orchard Cove Orthopaedic Rehabilitation.
Lewis thinks of the race as one that he and Holbrook will run together, but clear differences between the candidates are surfacing.
Holbrook, the only woman on the council, may be best known for her work organizing concerts in the park. She helped institute the city-wide recycling program a few years ago and has served on the planning commission and the administrative control board for the Davis Center for Performing Arts.
In 2006, Holbrook unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat to represent Utah House district 20.
Lewis hasn’t participated in city government, but has support from community leaders such as former Bountiful Mayors John Cushing and Bob Linnell; former state representative and Bountiful city councilwoman, Ann Hardy; former Bountiful City Manager, Tom Hardy; and business leader, Mac Christensen, according to his campaign materials. Lewis sits on the legislative affairs committee of the Davis Chamber of Commerce.
“I think that, if I have skills that are noticed by others, usually they have to do with team building and being positive and making good decisions,” he said.
Before this week, former Bountiful Councilman John Pitt had been planning to run for mayor, but he changed his mind because Lewis is running, he said. Pitt didn’t want to compete for supporters with Lewis, and said the two share many friends. They also live in the same neighborhood, near Bountiful High School. Pitt is a columnist for the Clipper.
Both have been heavily involved in service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Despite their differences, the candidates agree that economic development will be important in the next four years and beyond.
Holbrook believes the way people look at cities is changing.
“We really like to have our services as close as possible,” she said. “It makes it easier to live our daily lives. Considering the kind of challenges we have, with fuel costs continuing to rise, it only makes sense to make economic development a continuing effort.”
Both candidates realize that Bountiful will never have big box stores, but want to see businesses grow.
“We’re not going to have big box stores or places like Farmington Station, but we can see that we can be very successful, as we have been on Main Street,” Lewis said. “The challenge is to help bring solid, good, exciting businesses that want to be here and that really add to the culture of Bountiful.”
Both candidates plan to make a major push in the next week to kick off their campaigns, but they can’t register until the first week of June.
Issues likely to surface from Holbrook include the promotion of community events such as her concerts in the park series and support for local businesses.
“I think that I have a really good chance,” Holbrook said. “My previous re-election shows that people like what I’ve been doing and they like how I’ve been making those decisions all along. I don’t think that I’m too liberal to do a good job in this city.” We need diversity, and someone who has had experience in all areas should be a good thing.
Lewis is likely to broaden his support base and believes education is particularly important. He also hopes to tap the potential of Bountiful residents, he said.
“We have a tremendous successful population of people who live in Bountiful,” he explained. “I intend to maybe reach into the expertise, the professionalism, the experience and really even the outreach that a lot of these Bountiful residents have and help them to use their influence to help Bountiful.”