Cache County Republican Executive Bruce King says he's fortunate to still be in the race after challenger Seth Allen came within 1.5 percentage points of earning an automatic spot on November's general election ballot.
During Saturday's Cache County Republican Convention, Allen garnered 68.5 percent of the delegate vote, meaning the challenger and King will vie in this fall's GOP primary. Seventy percent of the delegates are needed to avoid a primary.Allen, Cache County Clerk, will battle King for the right to oppose Democrat Blake Peterson in November.
Also Saturday, 1st District Rep. Jim Hansen and Gov. Norm Bangerter took jabs at 2nd District Democratic Rep. Wayne Owens and three of the county's incumbent office holders received enough votes to avoid a primary runoff.
Sheriff Sid Groll garnered 77 percent of the delegate support over Kent Parker, Recorder Michael Gleed earned 74 percent support over Randy Cowdin and David S. Watson, while county Treasurer Lucile Ferguson received 82 percent support over Gary Leishman.
Those three will have no Democratic opposition in the November election, so they have been essentially re-elected.
There will be no Democratic primary in Cache County, but Republicans will have five intraparty races in addition to the race for county executive. They include county assessor, in which John Rich and Kathleen Howell will vie; county clerk between Stephen Erickson and Lorene Greenhalgh and the surveyor's race between incumbent Preston Ward and challenger George L. Walker Jr.
In the Cache County Council's Southeastern District, Republicans Larry Anhder and Joe Chambers will face off in the primary with the winner challenging incumbent Democrat Joe Morse.
During Saturday's six-hour convention, Hansen shrugged off as scare tactics challenges by Democrat Kenley Brunsdale that Hansen has sat by while jobs at Thiokol Corp. have been lost along with opportunities to get federal money for Utah highway construction.
Hansen called Brunsdale "a desperate man" and an Owens clone.
"Those two Democrats have received four times the publicity on the printed page and the electronic page in this state than all the rest of us Republicans combined," he said.
Gov. Norm Bangerter also said that Owens and Brunsdale do not represent Utah's mainstream.