SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s longest-serving member of the Legislature, Sen. Lyle Hillyard, appears to have been ousted by Republican businessman Chris Wilson, according to initial primary election results.
“I wish my opponent Chris Wilson good luck as he takes over this job. It’s going to be a very very challenging time to be in the Utah Legislature with everything going on,” Hillyard said in reference to the budgetary issues brought on by COVID-19.
Hillyard, R-Logan, who has held a seat in the Legislature nearly 40 years, won just 38% of the vote in the Senate District 25 race, early returns show. Newcomer Wilson currently holds 62%.
Updated vote counts are expected as election officials must still sort through ballots mailed Tuesday.
“I really feel a great deal of pride and appreciation in the fact I’ve been able to represent this area for 36 years in the Senate,” Hillyard said. “I think I’ve made a difference in the state and the area here as well. Sorry I lost, I was really surprised because from all my colleagues it looked like I had really good support going into the election. Obviously something was going on behind the scenes I didn’t know about.”
Hillyard said he plans to carry out the rest of his term and will continue to do local community service.
Wilson, who also thanked Hillyard for his years of service and sacrifice, said he ran because he believes it is time for a “new perspective and fresh ideas.” He said his experience as a businessman will help grow the economy and get people back to work.
“I’m not a politician but I’m very very pleased for where we are sitting right now. We are cautiously optimistic. Boy it’s been an honor and privilege to run in this race and I’m very grateful for the lead we have right now,” Wilson said.
Another northern Utah incumbent is also behind in the initial count of ballots. In House District 3, incumbent Rep. Val Potter, R-North Logan, is losing to his challenger, Logan resident and businessman Mike Petersen with 44% to 56% of the vote.
Other legislative races:
Senate District 6:
A legislator for 23 years, Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, currently leads business owner Karen Hyatt with 53% to 47%.
Senate District 10:
In Salt Lake County, incumbent Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, leads former state lawmaker Rich Cunningham with 52% to 48% of the vote.
Senate District 16
Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, holds a lead over state and county delegate Sylvia Andrew with 55% to 45% of the vote.
Senate District 19
Republicans John Johnson, a Utah State University data analytics professor, leads business owner Johnny Ferry, 56% to 44%.
House District 14
With 60% to 40% of the vote, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Syracuse, has a sizable lead over public schoolteacher Jennifer Hogge.
House District 17
Rep. Stewart Barlow, R-Fruit Heights, leads Kaysville resident LeAnn Wood, 63% to 37%.
House District 33
Salt Lake County Democrat Fatima Dirie is leading Ofa Matagi 70% to 30%.
House District 42
Attorney Jordan Teuscher leads former Utah Republican Party Vice Chairman Aaron Starks, 56% to 44%.
House District 47
Incumbent Rep. Steve Christiansen, R-West Jordan, is leading Nathan Brown 60% to 40%.
House District 48
Incumbent Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, has 50.3% to 49.7% of the vote against attorney and engineer David Shallenberger.
House District 54
Republican candidates Mike Kohler is beating Randy Favero 68% to 32%.
House District 56
Rep. Kay Christofferson, R-Lehi, leads conservative activist Merrilee Boyack, 58% to 42%.
House District 58
Republican Steve Lund currently leads Clinton Painter, 55% to 45%.
House District 61
Incumbent Rep. Marsha Judkins, R-Provo, is winning 64% to 36% over Kenneth Grover.
House District 66
Republican Jefferson Burton leads Woodland Hills City Council member Kari Malkovich, 60% to 40%.
House District 71
Incumbent Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane, currently leads Republican businessman Willie Billing, 52% to 48%.