It’s official: Following her apparent win at the ballot against the incumbent mayor of Salt Lake City on Election Day, lesbian candidate Jackie Biskupski this week was declared the winner of the race.
According to local TV affiliate FOX 13, the board of canvassers reviewed and certified the ballots and the results were announced Tuesday afternoon.
Biskupski beat out current Mayor Ralph Becker with 51.55 percent of the vote. Although she had the lead in the unofficial vote count on Election Day, she wasn’t declared the winner until now.
Upon taking office, she’ll be the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City and chief executive of the city at the heart of the Mormon Church.
Biskupski, a former member of the state legislature, is also a single mother. She has a child named Archie whom she’s been raising since he was born in 2009. She formally adopted him in 2010.
The lesbian candidate is declared the winner as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken criticism for a newly announced policy prohibiting the baptism of children raised by married same-sex parents. According to media reports, thousands of LDS members have submitted letters of resignation as a result of the decision.
In a statement on her website earlier this month, Biskupski expressed concern about the new policy, saying she’s heard from people unhappy with the decision.
“The conversations I have had over the past 24 hours, regarding the LDS Church policy to exclude children living in same-sex households from membership, have been with people of all walks of life, both Mormon and non-Mormon,” Biskupski said. “The common theme is both shock and concern for children — not just those directly impacted — but all children in our community who are witnessing a form of injustice that no child should experience.”
Upon news Biskupski was declared the winner in the mayoral race, a spokesperson for the LDS Church commended her for her win in a statement to the Washington Blade.
“We congratulate Jackie Biskupski on her successful campaign and election as mayor of Salt Lake City,” the spokesperson said. “We recognize her as well for her public service and contributions to the state during her former service as a member of the Utah Legislature. Church leaders have enjoyed cordial and productive relationships with those who had previously served as mayor of Utah’s capital city, and we look forward to working closely with Mayor Biskupski and her administration going forward.”
The spokesperson added, “We also wish to thank Mayor Ralph Becker for his years of service to the city and wish him well in his future endeavors.”