Utah GOP primary ballot set, four candidates for governor emerge

Apr 25, 2020, 11:28 PM | Updated: Jun 24, 2020, 3:34 pm
GOP convention...
Utah GOP Chairman Derek Brown updates the Republican party after the convention while awaiting results. (Cami Mondeaux via Facebook Live)
(Cami Mondeaux via Facebook Live)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah GOP has its ballot for the June 30 primary election, with four candidates emerging to compete for the governor nomination with another four candidates vying to face incumbent Rep. Ben McAdams in November.

Gubernatorial candidates qualified for the June primary by either gathering the required 28,000 signatures prior to the April 13 deadline or being voted in during the party’s convention. Those on the ballot running for governor include:

  • Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox – 52.6%
  • Greg Hughes – 43.1%
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr. – Qualified through signature gathering
  • Thomas Wright – Qualified through signature gathering

Prior to the convention, Cox already qualified for the primary ballot via signature-gathering.

Both Huntsman and Wright were eliminated from the delegates votes, with Huntsman being cut after the second round of the ranked-choice voting. Wright was also eliminated in the fifth round.

Whoever wins the primary election will vie for governor against Democrat Chris Peterson in November. Peterson was voted straight to the general election ballot after winning 88.4% majority vote in the Democratic Party Convention Saturday.

Peterson is running on a ticket with Karina Brown as nominee for lieutenant governor.

The race against Rep. McAdams

Four candidates will appear as nominees in the June primary to challenge incumbent Rep. Ben McAdams for the Congressional seat in Utah’s 4th District. Those candidates include:

  • Kim Coleman – 53.9%
  • Burgess Owens – 44.9%
  • Jay McFarland – Qualified through signature gathering
  • Trent Christensen – Qualified through signature gathering

The race against McAdams is considered to be a battleground election, as he is the only Utah Democrat in Congress. McAdams narrowly won the seat in 2018 against then-incumbent Republican Mia Love — winning by only 694 votes.

Other major races

Incumbent Sean Reyes will return to the primary ballot against David Leavitt for the attorney general race, with former attorney general John Swallow being eliminated from the race. Reyes received 49.8% of the vote with Leavitt gaining 28.07%.

Four candidates are set to face off in the June primary for a spot in the general election for the Congressional set in Utah’s 1st District. There were originally 12 candidates campaigning for the spot prior to the convention. Those candidates include:

  • Kerry Gibson – 53.3%
  • Blake David Moore – 40.2%
  • Bob Stevenson – Qualified through signature gathering
  • Katie Witt – Qualified through signature gathering

After the June primary, whoever wins will face either Jamie Cheek or Darren Parry — who will both appear on the Democratic primary ballot — in November.

Rep. Chris Stewart won the nomination for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, advancing directly to the general election in November. Stewart won with 71% majority vote.

Stewart will face Democrat Kael Weston, who won with an 83% majority vote.

Rep. John Curtis will also advance straight to the November election for a seat in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, winning a 65% majority vote from the convention. Curtis will face Democrat Devin Thorpe in the general election.

Incumbents State Sen. Lyle Hillyard, State Rep. Brad Last and State Sen. Curtis Bramble will be forced into primaries in June.

Results from several other state senate and house races were also announced Saturday after the convention. You can find results from other races at the GOP Facebook Page. 

Winners by acclamation

Several GOP candidates ran unopposed, meaning they won by acclamation — securing nominations on the November ballot. Those include:

  • John Dougall, State Auditor
  • David Damschen, State Treasurer
  • Jake Anderegg, State Senate District 13
  • Gregg Buxton, State Senate District 20
  • David Hinkins, State Senate District 27
  • Joel Ferry, State House District 1
  • Mike Schultz, State House District 12
  • Carol Hunter, State House District 28
  • Kera Birkeland, State House District 53
  • Scott Chew, State House District 55
  • Merrill Nelson, State House District 68
  • Christine Watkins, State House District 69
  • Carl Albrecht, State House District 70
  • Phil Lyman, State House District 73
  • Bruce Hough, RNC National Committeeman
  • Anne-Marie Lampropolous, RNC National Committeewoman

Dougall also ran as lieutenant governor on the same ticket as gubernatorial candidate Aimee Winder Newton. Newton was eliminated from the race after the GOP convention, so Dougall will remain as nominee for state auditor.

John Molnar has been nominated to be the libertarian candidate for Utah’s 4th district representative to the US House for 2020. He will be on November’s ballot.

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Utah GOP primary ballot set, four candidates for governor emerge