Openly gay candidate leads Salt Lake City's mayor race
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An openly gay candidate is leading the race for Salt Lake City mayor.

Jackie Biskupski (D) leads incumbent Mayor Ralph Becker (D) 52 percent to his 48 percent in the unofficial tally, according to The Associated Press.


Biskupski would be Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor should her lead hold.

Becker said late Tuesday evening that he is not conceding the race until the final vote tally on Nov. 17.

“I think we just have to wait and see because we don’t know how many ballots are out there,” said the incumbent mayor, who is seeking his third term.

“It’s not something I can do anything about,” Becker added. "It’s really a matter of getting the votes counted.”

Biskupski expressed frustration on Tuesday that Becker had not conceded.

“We’re a little disappointed that the mayor didn’t declare that we had won,” she said.

“But that’s OK,” she added. "We’ll see what happens over the next couple weeks when the ballots are all counted.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday that the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office had received mail-in ballots from 48.4 percent of the city’s registered voters.

Utah is home to the conservative Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and its population is more than 60 percent Mormon. But Salt Lake City is unique in the state and home to more liberal voters.

Biskupski’s potential win would mark a major victory for the Beehive State’s gay community.

The LDS Church notably supported Proposition 8, legislation that amended California’s state constitution during the 2008 election cycle.

The controversial proposition banned marriage between same-sex couples in the state and was ruled unconstitutional in a federal court ruling issued in 2010.

The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in its landmark 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges earlier this summer.