ELECTIONS

Judge says Lyman’s pick for Utah Lieutenant Governor is ineligible

May 3, 2024, 5:07 PM | Updated: May 4, 2024, 1:20 pm

Governor candidate Phil Lyman makes a statement after leaving the court room with Layne Bangerter a...

Governor candidate Phil Lyman makes a statement after leaving the court room with Layne Bangerter at the 3rd District Court in West Jordan, on Friday, May 3, 2024. The judge ruled Bangerter would not be on the ballot as Lyman’s running mate. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A 3rd District Judge has ruled that Layne Bangerter, the man Utah State Representative Phil Lyman chose as his gubernatorial running mate, is not eligible due to constitutional residency restrictions.

 

Judge Matthew Bates said that the Utah Constitution is clear that a candidate for state government must have resided in Utah for five years immediately preceding the election.

“The judge has decided that that means immediately preceding,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas, “as opposed to Lyman’s interpretation which was ‘at any point in your life did you live in Utah for five years preceding the election.'”

How Lyman and Bangerter got to this point

On April 27, Rep. Phil Lyman was chosen by a majority of Utah GOP delegates to run as their candidate for governor. Lyman beat the incumbent, Gov. Spencer Cox. 

But as KSL NewsRadio previously reported, the office of the Utah Lieutenant Governor did not accept a declaration of candidacy from Lyman’s running mate, Layne Bangerter. The lieutenant governor’s office said Bangerter hadn’t lived in Utah for five consecutive years before the 2024 race.

Bangerter moved to Utah from Idaho in 2021. 

By April 30, Lyman had filed a lawsuit against the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s office. He claimed that Bangerter was eligible. He said the Lieutenant Governor’s Office was participating in election interference by not accepting Bangerter’s Declaration of Candidacy.

What’s next?

According to KSL TV reporter Lindsay Aerts, Lyman must now pick a new running mate ahead of the Utah GOP primary in June.

 

“He (Lyman) has until noon on Monday (May 6, 2024) to get a new person and get that person filed,” Aerts told KSL NewsRadio.

Aerts said that Lyman has not specified whether he plans to appeal Friday’s ruling to the Utah Supreme Court. She said that time is of the essence in this matter.

“I just don’t know that there’s time, anymore, for (Lyman) to continue to fight this, where the … primary (is)June 25.”

This story will be updated.

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Judge says Lyman’s pick for Utah Lieutenant Governor is ineligible