After a lengthy negotiation process with the depositors, insurance companies, and the legislature, the depositors were able to get money back. In the 1988 election former Salt Lake mayor and Democrat Ted Wilson challenged Bangerter. Republican Merrill Cook broke with his party and ran as an independent candidate. In one of the great political election comebacks in state history, Bangerter won the election. The governor received 40 percent of the vote, Wilson received 39 percent, and Cook 21 percent. During his administration, Bangerter focused on three key issues. His foremost interest was improving the state's educational system. He significantly increased education funding. He also implemented a block grant funding program giving school districts more flexibility, and he initiated a statewide uniform student testing program.