Salt Lake City Mayor Will Not Seek Reelection in 2019

March 19, 2019 AT 7:15 AM

By Taylor Stevens

Citing a “serious and complex family situation,” Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced Monday that she won’t run for re-election in 2019, leaving a wide-open race to fill the city’s top slot.

Her surprise decision “dramatically” changes the tenor of the race, said one political scientist, and leaves a crowded field of candidates to battle it out — one of whom praised her as a “historic figure” after the announcement and all of whom wished her well.

Biskupski, the city’s first openly gay mayor, had announced her decision to run again at a campaign launch just last month, vowing to fight for more affordable housing, expanded transit and improved air quality. She declined to give details on the family matter that led her to withdraw from the race but noted that it involves her children.

“My commitment to my family and my role as Mayor must be my top priorities over being a candidate,” she wrote in a tweet announcing her decision Monday afternoon. “For this reason I have just told my staff that I will be withdrawing from the 2019 race. It has been an honor serving and I look forward to the next 9 month [sic].”

By opting out of a re-election bid, Biskupski will become the first one-term Salt Lake City mayor in 47 years, since Jake Garn stepped down two years into his first term to successfully run for the U.S. Senate.

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