Court Reinstates Salt Lake Write-In Candidate

The Utah Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a judge's ruling and reinstated a write-in contender as the official Republican candidate for mayor of Salt Lake County. 

In a brief order, the court said a doctor's note from Republican Mayor Nancy Workman, who is facing criminal charges of misusing public funds and quit her run for re-election, complies with state election law. A written ruling was expected.

Democrats who had sued over the certification of businessman Ellis Ivory to replace Workman on the ballot said they would not appeal.

"Now it's up to the voters, and I think the voters will see through all this," state Democratic Party chairman Donald Dunn said.

The doctor's note said Workman's fight against corruption charges and the re-election campaign had caused strain that disabled her from continuing as the GOP candidate — clearing the way for businessman Ivory to be elevated from write-in to ballot candidate.

Three days after Ivory announced his write-in candidacy, a poll showed him in a close race with Democrat Peter Corroon.

"I am happy to go toe-to-toe with our new candidate," Corroon said Thursday.

Messages left for Ivory and independent candidate Merrill Cook weren't immediately returned.

Workman has been charged with two felony counts of misusing about $17,000 in health department funds to hire a bookkeeper at a nonprofit organization where her daughter was a top financial officer. She is on paid administrative leave while fighting the charges.

But the scandal sparked a series of legal and political volleys that left the ballot in question for weeks.