PROVO, Utah — The race for Provo mayor is a showdown between two women, meaning the predominantly Mormon city will have a woman mayor for the first time in its 157-year history.
The race is between former city councilwoman Sherrie Hall Everett and school board member Michelle Kaufusi.
Kaufusi found out about the city’s all-male mayoral history when she went to Provo City Hall to file her paperwork, she said. A city official told her she was one of the first women to run for the job.
“I really didn’t believe them,” Kaufusi said. “I knew that in the city office there was a wall with all the mayors’ pictures from the very beginning of time. So I went and found the wall and sure enough, it’s all men. So I’m like, ‘Now I’m in even more. This makes me want to win even more.'”
Women’s representation across Utah County is the lowest in the Wasatch Front, the Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2zbO4SH) Monday. About 5 percent of mayors in the Utah County are women, compared to 19 percent in Salt Lake County.
Another city guaranteed a female leader is Woodland Hills, where Mayor Wendy Pray is running unopposed. Eagle Mountain, Highland City and Vineyard City also have viable female candidates for the position.
“I think if one of us can break the glass ceiling, it will open the door for a lot more involvement from women,” Kaufusi said.
Most of Utah County’s female mayoral candidates have over a decade of experience in their cities, serving previously on their city councils, planning commissions or Parent Teacher Associations before taking a shot at the top local office.
Utah’s general election is Nov. 7.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com