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Utah's House District 53 continues to be a Wilde race.
By just eight votes, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox officially certified on Tuesday that Morgan County Council Chairman Logan Wilde defeated veteran state Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, a former House speaker, in their GOP primary.
District 53 includes parts of Daggett, Duchesne, Morgan, Rich and Summit counties.
The margin is so slim that a recount is allowed and expected, and Brown has told reporters that he planned to request it.
Mark Thomas, state elections director for Cox, said Brown now has seven days to make that request, but the lieutenant governor and county clerks expect it and are gearing up to repeat a physical count of the votes perhaps next Monday or Tuesday.
He said after a recount, leaders in the five counties would need to hold a canvass to certify the vote again, and then Cox would need to give final certification.
"We're hoping to have the whole process completed maybe by late next week," Thomas said. If the recount confirms Wilde's victory, he will face Democrat Cole Capener in the Nov. 8 general election.
The race saw razor-thin margins in counts since polls closed June 28. On election night, Wilde held a 64-vote lead. That dwindled to 11 votes on the first vote update July 1; grew slightly to a 16-vote lead July 5; and went back to a 10-vote edge Friday, before the final eight-point margin.
Brown, 78, has served two separate stints in the legislature, for a total of 24 years, and is the longest-serving member of the House.
He once fell from grace, only to resurrect his political career later.
He first took office in 1986 and was elected speaker in 1994 and 1996.
But, in 1998, he was snarled in controversy over his discussions with a lobbyist about a post-legislative job with U.S. West at the same time lawmakers were considering key telecommunications legislation.
The Ethics Committee cleared Brown of wrongdoing, but he chose not to seek re-election as speaker. He stepped down from the Legislature in 2000. He moved from Midvale to Coalville, where residents of his new area elected him to Utah's Capitol Hill again in 2006. The latest stint included serving as the House chairman of the powerful Executive Appropriations Committee from 2011 through 2014.
Brown was the only legislative incumbent to lose his or her seat in this year's primary.
Two lost earlier in party conventions: Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, fell to former West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, and Rep. Earl Tanner, R-West Jordan, came up short against Adam Gardiner, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop.