Three of five seats on the American Fork City Council are up for election this year. The term is four years, and the other two seats and the mayor will be up for election in 2025.

Ten candidates filed during the June 1-7 filing period, but one has since withdrawn. Of the nine remaining, only one, Clark Taylor, is an incumbent. Another, Jeff Shorter, served on the council previously. He was first elected in 2013.

The primary election will narrow the field to six (two per seat). However, candidates don’t run for specific seats or from specific districts. The winners will simply be the six (in the primary), then the three (in the general election) who get the most votes. The winners’ will be sworn in just after New Year’s Day.

Here’s an important note, of which more below: municipal primary and general elections have been postponed statewide. They’ll be a few weeks later than usual.

2023 American Fork City Council Candidates

(Updated 16 August 2023)

There are rules governing the order in which candidates are listed in official contexts, including the ballot, but I’m going alphabetical today. I’ll include the contact information the City lists at its website. You’ll see that it’s incomplete; City Recorder Terilyn Lurker explained that some candidates wanted to limit the contact information the City published.

The candidate who filed but then withdrew is Justin Warner.

I’ll amend this contact information as I get more.

In the weeks and months to come, we’ll be providing our usual two types of content here: information, ranging from debate audio to candidate responses to questions we send them, and analysis and commentary, which we’ve developed the habit of labeling clearly, for the convenience of readers who only want what the candidates themselves say, not someone else’s opinion.

I know only five of the candidates already. I’ll be working to get to know the others, and to give the five I know a fair second (or third or fourth or tenth) look, before I start evaluating them here. I’m pretty sure I’ll have some opinions to share eventually.

Election Day Is Different This Year

Congressman Chris Stewart’s resignation requires a special election to fill his seat for the rest of the term, and there are statutory requirements about the timing of that election. It’s a lot cheaper to run one election than two, so the state wants to have municipal elections and the special House election at the same time.

The usual primary and general election dates are sooner than the law will allow the special election to be held, so the Utah legislature met in special session last week to move this year’s elections. The effect is statewide, not just in Congressman Stewart’s district.

Accordingly, American Fork’s 2023 city council primary will be Tuesday, September 5, just after Labor Day weekend. This year’s general election will be Tuesday, November 21, just before Thanksgiving. No doubt the usual opportunities for early and mail-in voting will be available.

Conventional wisdom suggests that moving the primary after Labor Day may increase turnout, which often helps mainstream candidates at the expense of fringe candidates — whoever those are and whatever that may mean in American Fork in 2023.

Stay tuned. And as we so often say here, “Learn BEFORE you vote.”