The Senate's majority whip, Republican Dan Eastman of Bountiful, is not seeking re-election.

"Two terms is good for me. I appreciated the time I was there and didn't want to make a big deal about not running again," Eastman told the Deseret Morning News Tuesday, the day after the filing deadline.

Ten candidates, including eight Republicans, have filed for Eastman's District 23 seat. Eastman said he liked two of the GOP contenders, Dan Liljenquist and Kent Parry, but was not ready to make an endorsement.

Other candidates for the seat are Republicans Lisa Watts Baskin, Beth Beck, Erine Cox, Jim Nielson, Ronald Mortensen and Lamont R. Peterson, Democrat Richard Watson and the Constitution Party's Jorgina Hancock.

Eastman, who owns car dealerships in Utah and Davis counties, said he made the decision not to run again primarily because of health problems as a result of diabetes and kidney disease.

He said it was "a little bit hard" to leave his position in Senate leadership.

"I really enjoyed being there and being at the table," Eastman said. "But I don't think I had the fire in the belly to take the next step."

Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, said he would personally miss Eastman's "quiet but very solid" role in leadership.

"Dan was the kind of guy I could rely upon to give me solid advice," Valentine said. "Where Dan's strength was, is he has a real strong internal compass and he knew where he wanted to go with things."

Eastman, 62, said that after 20 years of government service, including stints on the Davis Board of Education and Utah Transportation Commission, he's ready to spend most of his time at his ranch in southern Utah.

He said he did not intend to resign before his term ends.

Other state senators not seeking re-election are Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, D-Price; Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George; and Sen. Darin Peterson, R-Nephi, who has withdrawn as a candidate in District 24.

In the House, Rep. Lou Shurtliff, D-Ogden, joined Rep. Roz McGee, D-Salt Lake, and Majority Whip Gordon Snow, R-Roosevelt, in not seeking re-election. Rep. Karen Morgan, D-Salt Lake, is running for the Senate against incumbent Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Sandy, Rep. Mark Walker, R-Sandy, is running for state treasurer and House Minority Leader Brad King, D-Price, is running for Dmitrich's Senate seat.


Contributing: Bob Bernick Jr.

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com