Donations to candidates and outside group spending has revved up as Utah Republican voters prepare to cast their ballots in two statewide primary races: governor and attorney general.

Incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox faces a challenger this year: Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding. Three Republican candidates are vying for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ seat — Derek Brown, Frank Mylar and Rachel Terry. The election takes place later this month on June 25.

There’s no Democratic primary for either of those races.

One outside organization — All In for Utah — recently launched a six-figure ad buy in support of over a dozen Republican candidates running for both statewide and local offices.

Owen Fuller, entrepreneur and chair of the 501(c)(4) nonprofit’s board, shared the news exclusively with the Deseret News.

“We have a number of programs and initiatives in development to amplify and scale good things happening in Utah,” said Fuller. “While political expenditures like these are not and never will be our primary focus, we are happy to support common-sense conservatives.”

All In for Utah did not specify which candidates the buy would support.

The group started rolling out the ads on Wednesday — the day after ballots started hitting Utah mailboxes. It’s one of the biggest ad buys in statewide races so far. Another group known as Building America’s Future also has made a six-figure buy in support of Brown in the attorney general election.

Here’s a closer look at the money in the governor and attorney general primary elections.

A billboard on I-15 for Utah governor candidate Phil Lyman in Salt Lake County on Thursday, June 6, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Governor’s race

Cox had a balance of more than $1.5 million going into the state’s Republican Party Convention. He received just over $155,000 in contributions in his pre-convention report. Pfizer PAC gave him $2,000. Cox is prevented by law from fundraising during the legislative session, which covers the majority of this initial reporting period.

Direct health care company Nomi Health gave his campaign $25,000. United Health Group PAC contributed $5,000. Eli Lilly and Company PAC gave him $5,000 and Deloitte PAC donated $1,250.

Since convention, Cox has reported receiving over $1 million in contributions. PhRMA, a trade group representing pharmaceutical companies, gave Cox $10,000. The Utah Rural Electric PAC gave Cox $3,500. Dell Technologies Inc. PAC donated $10,000. Dominion Energy Inc. PAC contributed $12,500. The Utah Association of Realtors PAC gave $15,000. Big West Oil donated $2,500. Cox also received a number of small dollar donations.

Headed into convention, Lyman reported receiving $825,916 in contributions. Of that loan, $420,000 was a loan from an individual named Johnny Slavens, a former Brigham Young University football player and 2016 Texas congressional candidate. A Lehi-based business created in January called Government Leadership Solutions gave Lyman $300,000 in two separate contributions (one for $100,000 and another for $200,000).

The majority of the rest was small dollar donations.

Since convention, Lyman has reported $478,708 in contributions. The last reported contribution is dated Thursday. Schmidt Ranch LLC gave Lyman $10,000. Iron County Republican Party contributed $3,000. Government Leadership Solutions gave an additional $250,000. The majority of the other contributions come from individuals.

Records available from the Federal Communications Commission show ads running on KSL-TV for both Lyman and Cox. Filings show Lyman purchased a number of ads through June 11. Cox has ads purchased through the primary election on June 25.

Looking at another TV station in Utah, ABC 4, one filing shows Lyman is contracted to have ads run from May 29 and June 4. Other filings show Lyman had a number of ads run in May. A filing shows Cox is contracted to have ads run from May 28 to June 25.

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Attorney general’s race

The attorney general’s election is a down-ballot race, which typically means candidates have to battle for name recognition and there’s a good amount of voters who may not have heard of the candidates before.

Brown has received the most money in the race at this point. Since convention, he’s raised more than $250,000. From the new year headed into convention, he had received more than $298,000 in contributions and in 2023, Brown reported $210,303 in contributions.

This means Brown has reported more than $750,000 in contributions. On Wednesday, he reported loaning his campaign $100,000.

In addition to contributions from individuals, Brown has received direct contributions from groups. The RRPAC, a Utah-based organization inspired by former President Ronald Reagan, gave $5,000 directly to Brown. The group is chaired by Charlie Freedman and has on its board former Gov. Gary Herbert, Derek Miller, Ally Isom and others.

After convention, Friends of Spencer Cox gave Brown $50,000.

Adams Leadership PAC donated $5,000 to Brown as did the Committee to Elect Mike McKell. The Home Depot Political Action Committee contributed $2,500 to Brown. Cullimore for Senate gave Brown $10,000 and Committee to Elect Jay Cobb gave him $1,0000.

Combing through Mylar’s contributions report, he has reported contributions from individuals only. From April 20 to May 31 (the last contribution reported as of Friday morning), Mylar has received $36,657.

His largest donation from an individual since convention totals $5,000.

Headed into convention, Mylar had reported $46,214 in contributions. He had loaned himself a total of $1,500. The largest donation he received during that time totaled $10,000.

Since convention, Terry has reported $51,825 in contributions. The last reported contribution is dated May 17. She has loaned her campaign $10,000 within that reporting period.

Young Living gave Terry $5,000 — Brown also received the same amount from the company. Henrie Group contributed $2,500.

The majority of Terry’s donations since convention come from individuals. The largest donation Terry has received in that time frame totals $10,000.

Heading into convention, Terry had received $98,291 in total contributions. She received $1,000 from Republican Women Lead. National Bear Wholesalers Association gave her $1,000 as well. The largest donation she received before convention was $10,000 from an individual.

In terms of advertisements, Brown is the only candidate who has television advertisements on KSL-TV, according to filings available on the Federal Communications Commission. The filings show ads running for Brown throughout May as well as into early June.

On another station, ABC 4, an invoice shows ads were purchased for Brown from June 5 to June 11. Filings show no one other candidate in the attorney general race has TV advertisements purchased in support of them. Mylar and Terry had previously told the Deseret News they are both advertising on radio.