This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Two of the six incumbent legislators seeking reelection in Tuesday's primary election were in razor-thin races as counting ended for the night.
Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, a former House speaker, trailed Morgan County Commissioner Logan Wilde by 64 votes and a 50.7 to 49.3 percent margin. But because many ballots may still be in the mail, the final could change when the official vote canvass occurs in two weeks.
Also, Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, led Glen Jenkins by 163 votes and a close 51.9 to 48.1 percent margin. Jenkins is the brother of retiring Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, who had donated $6,000 to his brother's campaign. But Edwards still out-raised him by a margin of $24,400 to $9,200.
Meanwhile, all the legislative candidates who qualified for the ballot only because they used the new option of collecting signatures instead of going through the traditional caucus-convention system appeared headed for defeat.
The other incumbents who apparently won in unofficial vote counts Tuesday which could be altered by ballots that are still in the mail and will be counted later included:
• Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, won by a 54-46 percent margin over Rep. Rich Cunningham. Theirs was the most expensive legislative race in the state, after 13 senators donated to Fillmore prompting Cunningham to protest they opposed him because he sometimes does not toe the party line.
• Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, was ahead of former Rep. Chris Herrod by a 54-46 margin, with all precincts reporting.
• Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, was ahead of Xanie Haynie by a 53-47 percent margin, with all precincts reporting.
• Rep. Marc Roberts, R-Salem, led by a 63-37 percent margin over Payson Mayor Richard Moore, with 97 percent of precincts reporting.
Candidates who used signature gathering to qualify for the primary ballot who were trailing included Cunningham, Jenkins, Haynie and Moore.
One other legislative signature-gatherer Mike Brenny was also trailing. Corey Maloy led Brenny by a 65-35 margin with 88 percent of precincts reporting in a race to replace retiring Rep. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi.
Dan Hemmert was leading former Rep. Morgan Philpot by at 60-40 percent margin, with all precincts reporting, in a contest to replace retiring Sen. Al Jackson, R-Highland. Hemmert collected signatures but also got enough delegate votes to survive the convention.
GOP leaders in Utah and Davis counties worked against signature gatherers, arguing that whoever won at convention was the true party nominee. The
Republican Party has challenged SB54 but lost so far as an unconstitutional intrusion into how they choose their nominees.
Bramble, who wrote SB54, said it was a compromise to preserve that system partially. Without it, he said the Count My Vote initiative likely would have replaced the traditional system with a direct primary. Upset state delegates forced Bramble into a primary with Herrod.
Meanwhile, the primary on Tuesday was essentially the final election in three races.
Only Republicans had filed meaning winners will be unopposed in the general election in the House races led by Greene and Roberts, and the race between Walt Brooks and Steven Kemp to replace Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George. Brooks was leading that race by a 55-45 percent margin.
In one other final legislative race Tuesday, Macade Jensen defeated Jack Castellanos by a 67-33 margin in a race to replace retiring Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville.
Unofficial Utah Legislature results
(Utah and Wasatch counties)
Christopher N. Herrod 2,519
Curt Bramble (i) 2,938
(Salt Lake County)
x-Lincoln Fillmore (i) 5,034
Rich L. Cunningham 4,187
Morgan Philpot 3,586
x-Dan Hemmert 5,440
(Daggett, Duchesne, Morgan, Rich & Summit counties)
Melvin R. Brown (i) 2,230
Logan Wilde 2,294
District 6 (Utah County)
Mike Brenny 932
Cory Maloy 1,408
Becky Edwards (i) 2,283
Glen G. Jenkins 2,120
(Salt Lake County)
x-Macade Jensen 1,378
Jack P. Castellanos 689
Xani Haynie 1,495
Brian M. Greene (i) 1,674
Marc Roberts (i) 1,542
Richard D. Moore 905
Walt Brooks 2,085
Steven D. Kemp 1,552