Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says party switching partly to blame for primary loss

Jul 13, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 11:36 am

marriage Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen firearm codify...

Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says party switching is partly blame for loss in last month's Democratic primary election. Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, says Democrats switching to Republican to vote in the party’s closed primary, had a “significant” impact on his loss to Dr. Jennifer Plumb.

Kitchen lost to Plumb by 61 total votes, or .7%.

“I feel confident that if…that wasn’t an organized effort to switch to Republican, that I would have sailed to victory this year,” he told KSL NewsRadio.

Kitchen cited the numbers of Republican votes coming out of District 9, a known liberal area on the east side of Salt Lake City.

“This is the most Democratic district in the state, if you look at the numbers, it’s wild to see how many Republican ballots were cast,” he said.

The numbers according to Derek Kitchen

Kitchen cited his own tally of the numbers comparing Republican turnout in last month’s primary, to when he beat Plumb the first time in 2018.

Election data from the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office shows there was a sizable Republican turnout in the district this year. However, it can’t be said whether all those Republicans were former Democrats who switched for this election.

According to Salt Lake County’s election data, there are 17,231 Republicans in Senate District 9. Of those, 10,364 voted in the Republican primary on June 28 giving them a 60.1% turnout.

However, this may include Republicans who switched parties in 2020 — to vote in the hotly contested Governor’s primary race between former Gov. John Huntsman and current Gov. Spencer Cox — and never switched back.

There are 19,137 Democrats in the district and of those, 8,705 voted in the primary between Kitchen and Plumb, giving Democrats a 45.5% turnout. Because Democrats hold open primaries, some of those Democrats could technically be unaffiliated voters. The Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office, though, said that number was small at only a “few hundred.”

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Election Result

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at an election night watch party for her reelection cam...

Carter Williams

Mendenhall takes heated Salt Lake mayoral race after Rocky throws in the towel

Mayor Mendenhall's office confirmed that former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson, her primary challenger, called shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday to concede.

6 months ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks at an election night watch party for her reelection cam...

Carter Williams

Mendenhall ‘close’ to calling victory in heated Salt Lake mayoral race

The current mayor leads former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson 59% to 34%, according to preliminary Salt Lake County election results.

6 months ago

Republican nominee Celeste Maloy wins Utah's 2nd Congressional District....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

Republican Celeste Maloy wins Utah special election to replace her former boss US Rep. Chris Stewart

Maloy beat state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, who as minority whip is the Utah Senate's second-ranking Democrat.

6 months ago

Democrat Katie Hobbs (left) will win Arizona's governor's race, CNN projects, defeating Republican ...

Maeve Reston, CNN

Katie Hobbs will win Arizona governor’s race, CNN projects, defeating Trump favorite Kari Lake

Nearly a week after the election, Arizona Democrat Katie Hobbs will win the Arizona governor's race, CNN projects.

2 years ago

Maeve Reston, CNN

Democrat Mark Kelly will win reelection to US Senate, CNN projects

CNN projects that Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly will defeat Republican challenger Blake Masters.

2 years ago

The exterior of Orem High School, in Orem, Utah. This is one of the high schools that would have sp...

Simone Seikaly

Orem mayor feeling positive despite failure of Proposition 2

Orem Mayor David Young admits he was disappointed about Proposition 2 failing, but he feels positive about starting the conversation. 

2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen says party switching partly to blame for primary loss