LOGAN – The dark horse candidate for a seat on Logan’s City Council has come out swinging, condemning the council’s at-large representation for stifling political competition.
“This year there are fewer candidates than there have been in at least 20 years, maybe ever,” says community activist Keegan Garrity. “This means there will be no primary election for city council candidates.”
Garrity is the lone challenger running against incumbent city council members Amy Z. Anderson and Ernesto López, so City Recorder Teresa Harris confirmed that there will be no primary voting for the two city council seats that are now in contention.
That scant field of candidates is in stark contrast to 2020, when 16 residents applied to serve out the unexpired term of former council member Jess Bradfield.
“Where are those people now?” Garrity asks. “I’ll tell you where they are. They are looking at unsuccessful candidates of the past who raised more then $10,000 in donations, spent more than 40 hours knocking on doors throughout more than 11,000 acres of the city, put up hundreds of signs and ran dozens of ads and still didn’t win.
“It’s a tough game and the competition gets harder every year.”
The solution to that dearth of candidates and the daunting uphill battle to win an at-large seat on the municipal council is a switch to voter district representation, according to Garrity. That change is something that the insurgent candidate advocated for as a neighborhood representative on Logan’s 2020 Voter District Subcommittee.
Garrity was one of five majority members of that committee who recommended a change to district voting as a way to increase diversity on the city council and provide more adequate representation of the city’s west side neighborhoods.
The members of city council took that recommendation “under advisement” and launched their own inquiry into voting protocols that is still proceeding at what can only be described as a glacial pace.
But Garritty obviously intends to make voter district representation into an issue in the upcoming campaign.
“Does this (at-large) system produce the best candidates?” Garrity asks. “Does one’s ability to succeed in an at-large race have a direct correlation to his or her ability to represent their constituents and truly know their struggles? I don’t believe it does.
“My hope is that I will be the last challenger to win under this grueling system,” he adds, “so it can be replaced with a voting system that results in more proportional and equitable representation to restore balance to our local government.”
The three candidates for the two open at-large seats on the Logan City Council will face off in the general election set for Tuesday, Nov. 3.