This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Three state school board incumbents fell to challengers in Tuesday's election, according to unofficial results.
Linda Hansen defeated incumbent Michael Jensen 59 percent to 41 percent in District 3, with all precincts reporting.
The incumbent in District 6, Dan Griffiths, lost to challenger Brittney Cummins, 42 percent to 31 percent. Griffiths also was challenged by Pat Rusk, who got 27 percent of the votes. The latter was added to the ballot in September after U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled the state's process for selecting school board candidates is unconstitutional.
Challenger Joel Wright defeated District 9 incumbent Heather Groom, 46 percent to 38 percent. Joylin Lincoln was the third candidate in the race, garnering 16 percent of the vote.
Like Rusk, Wright was put on the ballot after Waddoups' decision.
District 1 incumbent Terryl Warner narrowly lost to challenger David Clark. Only 57 votes separated the two, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting.
In the board's open seats, Mark Huntsman beat Mike Miles with 64 percent of the vote in District 14.
Spencer Stokes defeated Willard Maughan, 54 percent to 46 percent, for the District 2 seat currently held by board member Keith Buswell.
State Charter School Board member Laura Belnap defeated Mark Bouchard, former chairman of Prosperity 2020, for the District 5 seat. Long-time board member Kim Burningham retired, leaving the seat open. Belnap had 56 percent of the vote to Bouchard's 44 percent.
Waddoups' ruling came as a result of a lawsuit filed against the state by Rusk and Breck England. The lawsuit claimed that school board candidates were denied their rights to free speech by being forced to undergo vetting by a selection committee and the governor before being placed on the ballot.
England was added to the ballot by Waddoups, but he later withdrew due to the short time frame remaining to campaign.
"When I actually went on the ballot," he said, "I found it was too late to do much."
Lawmakers are expected to debate alternative election methods during the upcoming legislative session.
House and Senate leaders were recently presented with a review of Waddoups' ruling and bill files have already been opened under the subject of school board elections.