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Candidates file for congressional, Utah legislative races

SHARE Candidates file for congressional, Utah legislative races
Proponents of an initiative to change the candidate nomination process in Utah filed ballot language Wednesday that follows a controversial compromise they made with state lawmakers in 2014.

Utah Reps. Rob Bishop, John Curtis, Mia Love and Chris Stewart this week officially filed for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Reps. Rob Bishop, John Curtis, Mia Love and Chris Stewart this week officially filed for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The dealine to file for federal and state offices for the November election in Utah was 5 p.m. Thursday.

In the 3rd District, former GOP state lawmaker Chris Herrod filed to run against Curtis. Herrod lost to Curtis in the Republican primary last year in the race to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who resigned midterm.

Other Republicans candidates in the 3rd District are: Steven Stromness, Henry Rudolph Kneitz III and Michael David Leavitt. Democrats James Courage Singer and Kent Moon, Independent American Gregory C. Duerden and United Utah candidate Melanie McCoard also filed to run.

In January, Curtis filed his intent to gather signatures to put his name on the Republican primary ballot. He also announced his intent to seek the nomination through the caucus and convention system.

“My campaign team and I are actively pursuing both paths in 2018,” he said. “I feel that we are in a good position with both paths and look forward to continue traveling the district to talk with voters one on one about the issues that matter to them most.”

Love is seeking her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces five Democratic challengers — Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake City residents Darlene McDonald and Morgan Shepherd, Sheldon Kirkham, of Taylorsville, and Tom Taylor, of Millcreek.

Love has said she will seek both the convention path and the signature-gathering path to secure her candidacy. At her signing of her declaration of candidacy, Love warned that a Nancy Pelosi-led House would undo Republican achievements in areas such as tax reform, so every seat counts this November.

"Our most crucial legislation often comes down to just a few votes," Love said.

Stewart is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. House. He faces a pair of Democratic challengers, Randy Hopkins, an executive with the Utah Department of Workforce Services who lives in Farmington, and Shireen Ghorbani, an associate director in organizational development and communication at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City; as well as a United Utah Party candidate who filed Tuesday, Jan Garbett from Salt Lake City, who owns Garbett Homes with her husband; and Libertarian candidate Jeffery Whipple, from St. George.

Bishop, the incumbant in the 1st Congressional District since 2002, has six challengers for his seat. Among those who filed this week were Eric Eliason, of Logan, running as a candidate for the new centrist United Utah Party; Republican candidates Kevin Probasco, of Layton, and Chad Fairbanks III, of Layton; Green candidate Adam Davis, of South Jordan; and Democrats Lee Castillo, a social worker from Layton, and Kurt Weiland, of Bountiful.

In the U.S. Senate, 12 Republicans and four Democrats have filed to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who is retiring at the end of his seventh term. He has been in the Senate since 1977, making him the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate in history. His seat is up for grabs in November.

Democrats who filed for Hatch's seat so were Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson and Larry Livingstone, of Bountiful, Jeff Dransfield, of Logan, and Mitchell Vice, of Salt Lake City.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney filed his candidacy for the Senate race as a Republican on Thursday. Romney said he will pursue both the caucus/convention system and signature-gathering paths to the primary ballot.

Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, is among the other Republicans challenging Romney for the seat. The others are Alicia Colvan, of Layton; Jeremy Friedbaum, of Provo; Stoney Fonua, of Herriman; Tim Jimenez, of Tooele; Larry Meyers, of St. George; Samuel Parker, of Salt Lake City; Loy Brunson, of Provo; Joshuca Lee, of Centerville; Torrey Jenkins, of Orem; and Abe Lincoln Brian Jenkins, of Orem.

Constitution Party candidate Tim Aalders, of Highland, Independent American candidate Reed McCandless, of Eagle Mountain, and Libertarian candidate Craig Bowden, of North Ogden, have also filed to run for Hatch's seat.

In the Utah Legislature, half the Senate is up for grabs in November.

A handful of senators have decided to retire this year, including Sens. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City; Howard Stephenson, R-Draper; Majority Assistant Whip Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City; and Budget Vice Chairman Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal.

On Wednesday, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, announced his retirement in a Facebook posting. Three candidates have filed for his seat as of Wednesday — Republican candidates Kirk Cullimore Jr., of Sandy, and David Hart, of Sandy, as well as Democratic candidates Abbey Wright, of Sandy, and Monica Zoltanski, of Sandy, and United Utah candidate Alex Castagno, of Sandy.

Many challengers have filed to run for Dabakis' seat representing Salt Lake City. There are eight active Democratic candidates — Jennifer Plumb, Derek Kitchen, David Andreason, Shawn Robinson, Tim Chambless, Jessica Foard, Rickie Mehl and Nadia Mahallati. Robert Pinon also filed but has since withdrawn. They are joined by Republican Chase Winder and unaffiliated candidate Vance Hansen.

Reps. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, and LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, are leaving the Utah House to run for Stephenson's vacant Senate seat. They face Republican DeLaina Tonks, of Draper, and Democrat Christian Burridge, of Draper.

Rep. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton, is leaving the House to run for Knudson's seat. Sandall faces Republican candidates Clark Davis, of Brigham City, and Cad Soffe, of Garland, and Democrat Michael Keil, of Stansbury Park, in the race.

Seven candidates have filed for Van Tassell's seat — Republicans Alisa Ellis, of Heber City, Brian Gorum, of Vernal, and Jack Rubin, of Park City, and Ronald Winterton; Democrats Pat Vaughn, of Midway, and Eileen Gallagher; and United Utah candidate Cathy Callow-Heusser, of Park City.

The newest member of the Utah Senate, Sen. Brian Zehnder, R-Holladay, filed his candidacy for re-election Monday. Zehnder was appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert to fill the vacancy left in District 8 when Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, accepted a position with the Trump administration.

Zehnder faces Democratic candidates Kathie Allen and Kathleen Riebe, both from Cottonwood Heights, and United Utah candidate John Jackson of Sandy. The winner of the District 8 race will serve a two-year term.

A United Utah Party candidate, Lee Houghton, has filed to challenge incumbant Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, to represent state Senate District 15. Dayton has filed for re-election. She also faces Republicans Emily Ellsworth, of Lindon, and Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo, for the seat. Ellsworth is former congressional staffer with a background in constituent services. Grover is leaving behind his seat in Utah House District 61.

A Green Party candidate, Abrian Velarde, has filed to challenge incumbant Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, who has filed for re-election in District 12. One Democrat, Clare Collard, of Magna, has also filed as a candidate for the seat.

Another United Utah Party candidate, Jeremy Egan, of Salt Lake City, has filed to challenge Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, for state Senate District 3. Davis also faces Republican challenger Marlin Baer, of West Valley. Luke Gustafon, of South Salt Lake, has withdrawn from the race.

Every seat is up for grabs in the Utah House of Representatives this November.

House Rules Chairman Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who has served in the House for 16 years, announced that he will not be seeking re-election. Controversial federal public lands critic Phil Lyman has filed as a Republican to replace Noel to represent rural voices in the Legislature. He is joined by Republican candidate Kelly Stowell, of Kanab, and unaffiliated candidate Marsha Holland, of Tropic.

Other retirements of House members include House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper; and Reps. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City; Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake; Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden; Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville; Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove; Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine; Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden; Rep. Edward Redd, R-Logan; Curt Webb, R-Logan; and John Westwood, R-Cedar City.