While all of Utah’s congressmen will hold onto their seats after Tuesday night’s preliminary election results, some races in the state appeared to be more hotly contested.
The majority of Utahns — 62% — do not favor a ballot question that would allow the state Legislature more leeway with the money it spends during an emergency, according to early results. Constitutional Amendment A would allow lawmakers to appropriate up to 5% of the state’s budget when calling itself into a special session, up from 1% as state law currently allows.
Most incumbents running for the Utah Legislature took early leads, but a few were locked in right races.
House District 27 incumbent Clare Collard, D-Magna, saw her slight lead fall to 49% of the vote late Tuesday while her Republican challenger Anthony E. Loubet moved ahead with 50%, with the two separated by fewer than 100 votes.
Likewise, Rep. Elizabeth Weight, D-West Valley City, trailed behind her opponent with 48% of the vote, while Republican Quinn Kotter had 51% late Tuesday. They were separated by 98 votes.
Write-in candidate and incumbent Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, who lost to Trevor Lee at the Davis County Convention in April, lagged behind with 35% compared to Lee’s 48% of early votes. Their challenger Brent Zimmerman had 15%.
Among notable races in the Utah Legislature, Joel Ferry — acting director of the Utah Division of Natural Resources — took a strong early lead with 82% of the vote, while his Democratic opponent Joshua Hardy had 17% of votes as of late Tuesday.
The Utah Democratic Party has challenged Ferry’s candidacy in court, calling him a “straw man” candidate. Ferry, an incumbent in the House from Brigham City, has said he would resign from the House and the Republican Party would appoint someone to fill his seat should he win the election. Gov. Spencer Cox appointed him to lead the state division this summer.
The lawsuit brought by the Democrats is still making its way through the courts, but a judge previously denied the party’s request to stop Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson from sending ballots with Ferry’s name to overseas military members.
Preliminary election results released Tuesday night indicate that Orem Proposition 2 may not pass, as 72.78% of voters whose ballots had been tallied voted against Orem splitting from Alpine School District, while 27.22% of voters voted to split from the district and form an Orem-only school district.
In Salt Lake County, District Attorney Sim Gill appeared likely to hold onto his position as he took an early lead of 60% over Republican opponent Danielle Ahn, who had 39% of the vote late Tuesday. County clerk candidate Lannie Chapman was also leading with 58% as Republican challenger Goud Maragani had 41%.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera also appeared on the way to win her bid for reelection as she led with 63% late Tuesday against challenger Nicholas Roberts, who had 36% of the vote, according to early results.
Independent challenger Evan McMullin conceded the U.S. Senate race to Republican Sen. Mike Lee late Tuesday night.
Lee took an early lead over McMullin and ended Tuesday with 55%, or 356,027 votes, while McMullin saw 41%, or 267,202 votes.
Utah’s four congressmen will also hold onto their seats.
- Rep. Blake Moore holds 69% of the vote over retired Weber State economics professor Rick Jones’ 30%.
- Rep. Chris Stewart received 63% compared to Nick Mitchell’s 30% of votes.
- Rep. John Curtis led with 67% of votes while Glenn J. Wright had 27%.
- Rep. Burgess Owens saw 60% of votes while Darlene McDonald had 32%.