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Stewart Barlow learned to campaign from a pretty decent source, walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors starting at the age of 10 with his dad, Haven Barlow, who was Utah's longest-serving legislator.

He put the experience to use campaigning to fill a vacancy in state House District 17, a race he won by a single vote Thursday night.

"He has been very supportive," Barlow said of his father, who is now 89. "He guided me, I think, well on what to do. He's kind of an old-timer and this was an old-time, one-on-one campaign."

Stewart Barlow — an ear, nose and throat doctor and head and neck surgeon — said he ran as a bit of an outsider, someone who is not part of the political process, but made the case that he would fit in as part of the citizen Legislature.

"I pointed out that there are going to be a lot of medical issues coming down the line — one of the biggest is Medicaid," he said. "It's nice to have someone in the business who knows where a lot of the wastes are and maybe I can help tackle that problem."

Barlow, 54, said that removing some of the mandates on emergency room doctors or letting them send Medicaid patients who come in with minor problems to an urgent care clinic could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per patient.

He said he also wants the Utah Department of Transportation to settle on a route for the northern extension of Legacy Highway so the development in his district can be worked out accordingly.

It took eight rounds of balloting for the just over 100 Republican delegates to choose the winner. Barlow ended up beating Peter Cannon, a leader of the Davis County 9/12 Project, by a single vote. Barlow said he trailed by 11 votes with 12 left to count, but each one broke his way.

With Gov. Gary Herbert's official appointment, Barlow will replace Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, who resigned from the Legislature after being appointed by Herbert to head the Department of Community and Culture.

Barlow did his undergraduate work at the University of Utah and earned his medical degree at Georgetown University. He did an internship with the U.S. Senate Health, Labor and Human Resources Committee. He and his wife have six children. Twitter: @RobertGehrke