The county-wide primary for Summit County Auditor has been called off.
Democratic candidate and former Park City Councilman Alex Butwinski has dropped out of the Summit County primary election for County Auditor, leaving Michael Howard as the lone Democratic candidate in the race.
Howard will automatically advance and face Republican candidate Gary S. Shumway in the November general election.
Only two races remain in the Tuesday, June 24 election: a four-person race for the Park City School Board and a three-person race for the South Summit School Board.
"We will not count any votes cast for the auditor position," said County Clerk Kent Jones in a release. "There will be no changes to the ballot; votes simply won't be counted in that race."
Butwinski said he recently accepted a consulting position that would force him to travel up to 10 days a month, and it wouldn't be fair to Summit County residents for him to be absent much of the time while being auditor. "I was trying to find a way to do both," he said, but ultimately made the "difficult" decision that "the citizens of Summit County deserve better."
He threw all of his support behind Howard in what had already been an amicable race. Butwinski said he was confident in Howard's chances of winning the race, and thanked all of his supporters who urged him to run in the first place.
Glenn Wright, Summit County Democratic Party Chair, was informed of Butwinski's decision Thursday morning and acknowledged that it would have been "impossible" for the candidate to devote all of his energies to the auditor's position if he had won. With Howard now the official Democratic candidate, Wright said, "I think Michael will do very well," and predicted a "fairly easy" general election win.
Howard, a Jeremy Ranch resident who owns his own information technology firm, has promised a race absent of negativity. As chairman of the board for the Park City Fire District, he has experience in local administration, and touted his business-world experience in accounting and information technology. He also served a six-month stint as Summit County treasurer in 2010.
If elected, his first goal, Howard said, would be to analyze the current processes and procedures of the county auditor and identify ways in which it can be modernized and streamlined.
According to the Summit County's web site, "The Auditor's office prepares and maintains all the financial information for the county. The Auditor prepares the annual budget and provides monthly financial information to each department for management purposes. The Auditor also prepares an annual audit of the County's financial activity. All payrolls, purchasing and corresponding payment of invoices are also the responsibility of the Auditor's office."
Remaining on the ballot are the Park City School Board District 5 election and the South Summit School Board District 4 election. Registered voters in one of those school districts can cast votes. Voting areas will be:
9: Lower Pinebrook
10: Summit Park West
29: Wagon Wheel
30: Summit Park East
39: Pinebrook North
41: Upper Pinebrook
21: Weber Canyon
13: South Summit East
Voters can go to the following website for more information: http://summitcounty.org/clerk/elections.php