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Ralph Becker (mayor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ralph Becker
Ralph Becker.jpg
34th Mayor of Salt Lake City
In office
January 7, 2008 – January 4, 2016
Preceded byRocky Anderson
Succeeded byJackie Biskupski
Member of the Utah House of Representatives
from the 24th district
In office
Succeeded byRebecca Chavez-Houck
Personal details
Born (1952-05-30) May 30, 1952 (age 68)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
RelationsRalph Elihu Becker (father)
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
University of Utah (JD, MS)

Ralph Elihu Becker Jr. (born May 30, 1952) is an American politician and attorney who served as the Minority Leader of the Utah State House of Representatives and the 34th mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Early life and education

Becker was born in Washington, D.C. to Ralph Elihu Becker and Ann Watters Becker.[1][2] His father, Ralph Elihu Becker, was United States Ambassador to Honduras from 1976 to 1977 during the Ford administration.[1]

He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973, his J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1977, and his M.S. in Geography/Planning from the University of Utah in 1982.[2][3][4]


Early career

Becker is an attorney and planner who co-founded Bear West in 1985, a planning, natural resources consulting firm.[2][4] He also is an Adjunct Professor at the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Utah.

Becker has worked in the National Park Service as a garbage man, firefighter, and ranger (law enforcement and EMT) (1971–76),[5] Utah State Planning Coordinator under Governor Scott Matheson (1981–1985),[2] and Salt Lake City Planning Commissioner (1988–1996).[6] He is one of three people in Utah to be a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.[6]

Utah Legislature

During his tenure in the Utah State Legislature, Becker served as House Democratic Leader for four years. He also lead the passage of the Quality Growth Act (1999) and supported funding for trails, open space, transit, and Utah's first Energy Policy Act. Becker was also an advocate of social justice issues.

Mayor of Salt Lake City

In November 2006, Becker announced his candidacy for the 2007 race for Salt Lake City Mayor and won on November 6, 2007.

On January 7, 2008, Becker took the oath of office and began his four-year term as mayor. In 2011, Becker was reelected in a landslide, winning 75% of the vote.

In November 2009, Becker signed into law non-discrimination ordinances that forbid landlords and employers to deny housing or jobs due to sexual orientation or gender identity.[7]

In December 2013, Becker officiated over some of the first same-sex marriages performed in the state of Utah.[8]

In February 2014, Becker signed the Freedom to Marry Petition, a non-partisan declaration that "all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage."[9][10]

Becker served as the 2014–2015 President of the National League of Cities.[11]

2007 General Election

2007 General Election [12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ralph Becker 27,556 63.77
Republican Dave Buhler 15,524 35.93
Other write-ins 129 0.30
Total votes 43,209 100

2007 Primary Election

Top 2 candidates advance to General Election (Regardless of Party Affiliation)

2007 Primary Election [13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ralph Becker 10,486 38.50
Republican Dave Buhler 7,570 27.79
Democratic Jenny Wilson 6,364 23.36
Independent Keith Christensen 2,295 8.43
(unknown) J.P. Hughes 378 1.39
(unknown) John M. Renteria 53 0.19
(unknown) Quinn Cady McDonough 42 0.15
(unknown) Rainer Huck 37 0.14
(unknown) Robert 'Lot' Muscheck 14 0.05
Total votes 27,239 100

2011 General Election

2011 General Election [14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ralph Becker 12,916 74.91
Republican J. Allen Kimball 4,150 24.02
Other Write-Ins 2,121 1.24
Total votes 19,187 100


  1. ^ a b Saxon, Wolfgang (1994-08-26). "Ralph E. Becker, 87, Lawyer And Ex-Ambassador, Is Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  2. ^ a b c d "Ralph Becker bio". Deseret News. 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  3. ^ "Ralph E. Becker Jr. Engaged to Nancy Hayworth Whiteley". The Washington Post. 16 April 1980.
  4. ^ a b Jensen, Derek (18 October 2011). "Long-shot 'codger' takes on Becker for Salt Lake City mayor". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  5. ^ Leonard, Wendy (2014-11-23). "Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker now heads national group of city leaders". Deseret News. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  6. ^ a b "In our opinion: It's appropriate to recognize the achievements of outgoing SLC mayor". Deseret News. 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  7. ^ "Non-discrimination ordinances become law in Salt Lake City". KSL-TV. April 2, 2010.
  8. ^ Matthew Piper (2013-12-20). "Salt Lake County offices see a crush of same-sex marriages". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  9. ^ "Freedom To Marry Website".
  10. ^ Romero, McKenzie (Feb 13, 2014). "Becker joins mayors signing Freedom to Marry petition". Deseret News. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  11. ^ "NCL Officers". Retrieved 14 April 2014.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Rocky Anderson
Mayor of Salt Lake City
Succeeded by
Jackie Biskupski
This page was last edited on 28 September 2020, at 14:12
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