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Most Salt Lake County incumbent representatives had an easy time keeping their seats in the Utah House of Representatives.

Several House races seemed close as the votes were being tallied Tuesday night, but the contest between Rep. David Bresnahan, R-West Jordan, and Democrat challenger Perry Buckner was a genuine squeaker - especialy for the candidates.When the votes were all counted, Bresnahan had lost by a mere 95 votes.

"I'm relieved this thing is finally over," Bresnahan said. "It was obviously a long, challenging fight - one that was not based on issues, but on scare tactics and negative campaigning."

Bresnahan said he was proud of the campaign he ran. But he believes that news coverage of an incident in which he fired his handgun into a ditch to stop a man who was fleeing a hit-and-run accident didn't help his candidacy.

Still, he said early Wednesday morning, when the election results finally stopped seesawing (at one point the two men were separated by just 21 votes), he doesn't regret firing the shot - even if it cost him the race.

"(The media) covered this almost daily for three weeks," he said. "But then when it was thrown out of court nobody printed it."

Charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm, a Class B misdemeanor, were dismissed, but the Salt Lake County district attorney could decide to refile them, Bresnahan said.

Buckner was shocked the vote was so close - and happy to learn that he'd won.

"We walked the whole district twice . . . we knocked on every door," he said. "Obviously there's some things I need to do to get in touch with the issues those people are concerned with."

Differing views

Buckner doesn't believe his campaign was negative, just honest. He's anxious to put the race behind him and get to work.

"I'm new to this," he said. "I obviously have a lot to learn."

Buckner, a deputy sheriff, decided to run because he said he didn't like the way Bresnahan represented the district.

"Sitting back and whining about it doesn't get anything done," he said. And while the race was very close, Buckner said the win felt good.

No challengers

In other races around Salt Lake County, several incumbents were helped immeasurably by the fact that they were unopposed - or faced no major-party opposition.

In all, in Salt Lake County, 17 incumbents held on to their seats. Only Rep. Sue Lockman and Rep. Darlene Gubler, both Republicans, were defeated in their bids for re-election.

It meant a small gain in Salt Lake County for Democrats. West Jordan Public Safety Administrator Gary Cox took 52 percent of the vote to replace Lockman in District 38, while attorney Patrice Arent defeated Gubler by garnering 53 percent of the vote in District 41.

Balance of power

Democrats, however, lost control of the District 43 House seat that had been Rep. Kelly Atkinson's for several terms. Atkinson gave up the seat when he launched an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 2nd District. Ross Anderson defeated him in the primary but was himself defeated by Merrill Cook, who ran on the Republican ticket. Republican Wayne Harper, community development director in West Jordan, defeated Democrat Mark Myers in that race.

All vote tallies were complete but unofficial early Wednesday morning.

Lone Republican

Nothing changed, in a partisan fashion, in Salt Lake City itself, where moderate Rep. Afton Bradshaw is still the lone Republican. She defeated challenger Sue Behle, an advocate for people with disabilities, by getting 59 percent of the vote.

Incumbent representatives returned to office Tuesday were Democrats Daniel Tuttle, Dave Jones, Steve Barth, Loretta Baca, Brent Goodfellow, Gene Davis, Mary Carlson, Neal Hendrickson, Judy Ann Buffmire and Kurt Oscarson. Republicans who return are Bradshaw, Ron Bigelow, Orville Carnahan, Lamont Tyler, Ray Short, David Zolman Sr. (appointed to replace Michael Waddoups), Robert Killpack, Mel Brown, Brian Allen, Brian Holladay, Greg Curtis and Lloyd Frandsen.

Changing faces

Political newcomer Duane Bourdeaux, a Democrat, handily defeated small claims court judge Mark Hansen to represent District 23. The Democrats also nabbed the seat vacated by Rep. Frank Pignanelli, who didn't run for re-election. Consultant and attorney Ralph Becker defeated Gary Ott, a Republican small-business owner.

The District 40 seat vacated by GOP Reese Hunter, who didn't seek re-election, will be filled by fellow Republican Richard Walsh. The teacher defeated Newel Standley, a Democrat.

Republican John Swallow will replace Shirley V. Jensen, who chose not to run for re-election this year. He defeated Democrat Jan Johnson with 67 percent of the vote.

Dave Hogue will replace Rep. Mont Evans as Bluffdale's representative. The Republican defeated Democrat Paul Kafen and Kaylin Robinson.



District 22

16 of 16 precincts

Daniel H. Tuttle (D-inc.) 4,301 59%

Steve Hengen (R) 2,967 41%

District 23

19 of 19 precincts

Duane Bourdeaux (D) 4,024 58%

Mark Hansen (R) 2,738 40%

Glen Leroy Winkworth Jr RP 153 2%

District 24

25 of 25 precincts

Ralph Becker (D) 5,924 63%

Gary W. Ott (R) 3,535 37%

District 25

26 of 26 precincts

David `Dave' Jones (D-inc.) 7,031 65%

Richard M. Smiley (R) 3,195 30%

Ben Valdez Jr. (L) 372 3%

E.O. `Doc' Woods NLP 231 2%

District 26

18 of 18 precincts

Steve Barth (D-inc.) 4,560 100%

District 27

21 of 21 precincts

Loretta Baca (D-inc.) 4,373 63%

Randall C. Wall (R) 2,230 32%

Arthur Reilly (L) 303 4%

District 28

23 of 23 precincts

Afton B. Bradshaw (R-inc.) 6,672 59%

Sue Behle (D) 4,458 39%

Mark Lewon (L) 207 2%

District 29

16 of 16 precincts

Brent Goodfellow (D-inc.) 3,999 60%

Troy Staker (R) 2,614 40%

District 30

23 of 23 precincts

Gene Davis (D-inc.) 5,644 62%

Kay Henry (R) 3,404 38%

District 31

23 of 23 precincts

Mary Carlson (D-inc.) 5,763 55%

Gregory L. Hopkins (R) 4,399 42%

Charles Gibson Pearce (L) 226 2%

District 32

15 of 15 precincts

Ron Bigelow (R-inc.) 3,559 50%

Allen C. Rushton (D) 3,254 46%

Janet Mantle Ericson IAP 323 5%

District 33

18 of 18 precincts

Neal B. Hendrickson (D-inc.) 3,681 53%

Jim Decker (R) 3,212 47%

District 34

18 of 18 precincts

Orville D. Carnahan (R-inc.) 4,339 58%

Marty Cutler (D) 3,203 42%

District 35

23 of 23 precincts

Judy Ann Buffmire (D-inc.) 4,458 60%

Douglas Grassi (R) 2,931 40%

District 36

24 of 24 precincts

Lamont Tyler (R-inc.) 6,472 59%

Greg Peters (D) 4,450 41%

District 37

25 of 25 precincts

Ray Short (R-inc.) 7,197 81%

Brian E. Swim (L) 1,727 19%

District 38

15 of 15 precincts

Gary F. Cox (D) 3,504 53%

Sue Lockman (R-inc.) 3,152 47%

District 39

21 of 21 precincts

David L. Zolman Seni (R-inc.) 5,840 100%

District 40

25 of 25 precincts

Richard L. Walsh (R) 5,293 55%

Newel Standley (D) 4,392 45%

District 41

25 of 25 precincts

Patrice Arent (D) 6,158 53%

Darlene Gubler (R-inc.) 5,506 47%

District 42

18 of 18 precincts

Perry Buckner (D) 3,709 49%

David M. Bresnahan (R-inc.) 3,637 48%

Curt James (L) 233 3%

District 43

20 of 20 precincts

Wayne A. Harper (R) 4,254 57%

Mark R. Myers (D) 3,166 43%

District 44

24 of 24 precincts

Robert H.M. Killpack (R-inc.) 4,821 55%

Rebby D. Diehl (D) 3,951 45%

District 45

26 of 26 precincts

Melvin R. Brown (R-inc.) 7,315 100%

District 46

21 of 21 precincts

Brian R. Allen (R-inc.) 5,664 57%

Gary Pratt (D) 3,958 40%

Allen Hepner (L) 256 3%

District 47

19 of 19 precincts

Brian D. Holladay (R-inc.) 4,945 80%

D. Mark Faux (I) 1,248 20%

District 48

20 of 20 precincts

Kurt Oscarson (D-inc.) 4,815 53%

Kelly C. Casaday (R) 4,203 47%

District 49

18 of 18 precincts

Greg J. Curtis (R-inc.) 5,979 66%

Chris Shouse (D) 3,132 34%

District 50

25 of 25 precincts

Lloyd Frandsen (R-inc.) 10,692 100%

District 51

23 of 23 precincts

John E. Swallow (R) 6,847 67%

Jan Johnson (D) 3,370 33%

District 52

22 of 22 precincts

Dave Hogue (R) 7,555 66%

Paul J. Kafer (D) 3,130 27%

Kaylin Robinson NLP 765 7%