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Dub Lawrence believes Saturday's county conventions may have determined his political career. Jim Hansen hopes they will have ended it.

Lawrence, a Republican Davis County commissioner, says he had to do well in three key county conventions."This is it," Lawrence said earlier in the week, as he faced the showdown with incumbent Republican Congressman Hansen.

Hansen, who has always been popular within his Republican Party, was a bit surprised by the maverick Lawrence's challenge.

Saturday, in his quest for a sixth term in the U.S.

House, Hansen appeared before the Weber, Cache and Davis county GOP conventions. So did Lawrence. The majority of delegates in the 1st Congressional District were in those conventions.

"Those conventions are critical to me," said Lawrence. It will take a week or so for the candidates to assess their strength after the three conventions.

"We agree these are critical to him," said Peter Jenks of Hansen's office. "We think we know what it means." The elimination of Lawrence? "We won't predict anything, but we feel very, very good," said Jenks.

If Hansen gets 70 percent or more of the state delegate vote in the State Republican Convention June 16, Lawrence is out and Hansen is the nominee. "I need 283 of the 943 delegates to make it to a primary," said Lawrence. Up until Saturday, Lawrence said, he'd done all right in several rural county conventions. If Hansen eliminates Lawrence, he then faces Democrat Kenley Brunsdale, who is unopposed in his party.

While Hansen and Lawrence are fighting for delegates, there's also the general public to consider. And there, Hansen is way ahead, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.

In a survey taken April 18 and 19, pollster Dan Jones & Associates found that should Lawrence survive the state convention and appear in a GOP primary, 57 percent of 1st District voters would favor Hansen, 22 percent Lawrence, 3 percent some other Republican and 18 percent didn't know who they'd favor.

Utah has an open primary system, a citizen can cast his vote for a Republican, Democrat or whoever else is on the ballot. But generally, Republicans vote in a GOP primary, Democrats in a Democratic primary and so on. Among those who said they're Republicans, Jones found that Hansen had overwhelming support - 77 percent to 10 percent for Lawrence. Among those who said they're independent, Hansen leads Lawrence 50-29 percent.

Both Hansen and Lawrence lead Brunsdale in head-to-head match-ups. Hansen leads Brunsdale 54-21 percent. Three percent said they'd vote for American Party candidate Reva Marx Wadsworth, 2 percent told Jones they'd vote for someone else and 20 percent didn't know who they'd vote for.

In a Lawrence-Brunsdale race, Lawrence leads 28 percent to 25 percent, with 3 percent for Wadsworth, 4 percent for someone else and 40 percent undecided, Jones found.