Openly gay Springdale mayoral candidate loses by 8 votes

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While it is possible that mail-in ballots are still in the system, it appears openly gay mayoral candidate Mark Chambers was defeated in his bid to be the mayor of the town of Springdale, Utah by eight votes.

Mark Chambers“I was eight votes shy of winning to be mayor of Springdale,” Chambers posted on his Facebook page. “Thank you to all those that have supported me and Joe during this election. Though I lost, I relish the experience. Remember it is important to be involved in your community and elections, you can make a difference.”

Chambers and his partner Joe Pitti moved to Springdale in 2009 when they bought the Under the Eaves Bed and Breakfast. Pitti has been on the town’s planning commission for over three years and Chambers was elected to the town council in 2011.

The final tally will be made official at the next town council meeting on Nov. 12.

There are 306 registered voters in this town of 547 people. Nearly 80 percent call themselves Republican, 18 percent Democrat and 2 percent independents. In 2012 nearly 83 percent voted for Romney and 16 percent for Obama. In 2008, 76 percent voted for McCain and 21 percent for Obama.

But Chambers says the town is very welcoming. In fact, his efforts at having the town join the growing list of those having an ordinance protecting gay and transgender citizens from discrimination were only met the the question of the need to do so.

“The most difficult part about passing the ordinance was convincing others that it was needed because the culture is already so welcoming,” Chambers told QSaltLake at the time the ordinance passed.

Stanley J. Smith will become mayor of the town unless more ballots turn up in the town clerk’s mailbox.

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