Voters ousted incumbent Republican commissioners in Washington and Juab counties and left the election of a new Duchesne County commissioner undecided in balloting Tuesday.
Democratic primaries were held in only four of the 17 counties that had county commission primaries. Winners of races in Uintah and Millard County will take office without opposition in November's election.Here is a roundup of races:
Incumbent County Commissioner R. Lee Allen bested challenger Mark A. Walker in Box Elder County's Republican commission primary. Allen posted 3,397 votes to Walker's 3,107, giving Allen 52 percent of the ballots cast.
Allen, who served for 10 years as District 1 representative to the state Legislature, said he thought his legislative experience might have given him the edge in the race.
"Now I have a chance to serve a little closer to home," he said. "I think this is a great opportunity."
Allen will face independent Chris Forsgren in November. There is no Democratic challenger in the race.
Public safety and economic development are top priorities for the winner of the County Commission Democratic primary in Carbon County.
Michael S. Milovich overwhelmed his opponent, Richard S. Robinson, by taking 70 percent of the votes.
"We have some major problems down here with hazardous materials moving through our area, and we don't have the equipment to handle situations that might occur," Milovich said Tuesday night.
Accordingly, in his campaign against Republican Carrol Haddock and Independent Joe Iriar, he will continue to advocate properly outfitting the town's fire department.
Voting in the Davis County Commission GOP primary gave incumbent Davis County Commission Chairman Gayle A. Stevenson 18,955 votes to 13,737 for Dan McConkie, who was making his first foray into politics.
Stevenson now faces Democratic challenger Nelda Bishop in the November general election.
Stevenson opened an early lead in Tuesday's primary that varied by a percentage point or two through the night but was never threatened.
Absentee ballots could decide the Republican primary for County Commission.
With 100 percent of the precincts counted Tuesday night, Myton resident Larry Ross held only a nine-vote lead over opponent John Swasey. Ross had 1,046 votes, Swasey, 1,037.
The absentee ballots will be counted Monday.
Loss of tax base is a big issue in the county, says Ross, a former two-term county commissioner. Concern for the county's finances are partly responsible for his decision to re-enter county politics.
Swasey, a Bridgeland resident, is a newcomer to politics but active in community organizations.
Both candidates have strong ties to agriculture and water development and favor completion of the Central Utah Project.
Challenger Gordon M. Young overwhelmed incumbent Richard M. Brough in the County Commission Republican primary. Young drew 899 votes to Brough's 593 for a 60-40 percentage split.
Brough, who served in the state Legislature for two years and as county commissioner for eight years, declined Tuesday night to comment on his ouster.
Young said the campaign had been rough and focused as much on personality as issues.
Now, Young said, "we need to focus a little more on economic development in this county."
Brough has long advocated county acquisition of Salt Creek Canyon through national legislation or land exchange, but Brough said he doubts that can be done without placing additional burdens on taxpayers.
Young, a farmer and rancher who lives in Mona, is a professional archer, chairman of the local Soil Conservation District board and serves on the boards of the Juab Cattlemen's Association and the Mona Irrigation Co.
He based his campaign on a need for economic development in the county and criticized the commission for getting "caught up in personal conflicts."
There will be a new face on the Millard County Commission. Republican Tony J. Dearden claimed the vacant seat on the commission after winning over Keith Gillins Tuesday by a 10-point margin.
No Democrat filed for the November election, so Fillmore native Dearden claims the seat. Commissioner Jer'E Brinkerhoff didn't seek a second term.
Dearden said that his campaign was driven by a sincere desire for community service. He said he wants to use tax funding from sources such as the Intermountain Power Project to provide for the future of the county.
Dearden said he was pleased with the support he received in the election. He lost in only three county election precincts.
Democrat Janet Rose and Republican Brent Overson easily defeated their primary opponents in the Salt Lake County Commission race but face a tough race against each other.
Rose's margin of victory - better than two-to-one - stunned her Democratic rival, John Hiskey, who had a broad base of support from county workers. A three-term Utah legislator, Rose campaigned on her experience and as the Democratic outsider.
Overson, a former state senator, beat another former state senator, Bill Barton, by a 10-point margin. His campaign focused more on the Democratic tax hike and county cronyism than on Barton.
Two-term Sanpete County Commissioner Robert Bessey won easily over fellow Republican Jim Noorlander in balloting by garnering 60 percent of the vote.
Bessey said he based his campaign on representing all of the people in the county's 13 cities and towns.
Specifically, he wants to protect federal lands in the county for economic uses. He also want to spur
economic development to help the counties agricultural economy and slow the migration of young people.
Incumbent Edwin St. Clair survived a challenge from fellow Democrat Lois McArthur in the primary election and now qualifies for the November election to fill the Tooele County Commission seat.
St. Clair, who was appointed to the commission in 1991 and lost a commission election eight years ago, said he was delighted at the
54-46 percent win. St. Clair, who is retired, said he is willing to work full time in the position.
Building a new hospital in the county and diversifying industry are now his top priorities.
It was a photo finish for challenger Russell Gallian as he edged Washington County Commissioner Scott Hirschi by a margin of 147 votes in the Republican primary.
Gallian, a St. George attorney, said his successful campaign emphasized funding the Washington County sheriff's office, something that he said his opponent has neglected while in office. Sheriff Glenwood Humphries endorsed Gallian.
"The sheriff's office has been understaffed and needed more help," Gallian said.
He said he plans on using seizure of drug assets, particularly along I-15, to increase the sheriff's budget.