Republicans vying to represent Summit County in the Statehouse will head to primaries |

Republicans vying to represent Summit County in the Statehouse will head to primaries

A dropbox for ballots in Summit County, Utah.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

Utah’s Republican and Democratic parties held their first-ever digital conventions over the weekend, though neither of the races for the GOP nomination in state House District 54 and Senate District 19, the only Statehouse seats covering Summit County featuring more than one candidate from the same party, were resolved. Both will go to a primary election in June.

House District 54

Mike Kohler, a Wasatch County-based businessman, defeated Parkite Randy Favero 34-23 in the GOP convention vote. Kohler’s victory didn’t meet the 60% margin necessary to avoid competing in the June primary election, however. In an interview with The Park Record, Favero, who leads a consulting firm, declared his intent to keep campaigning.

The race will determine which Republican will go on to face returning Democratic candidate Meaghan Miller in November to replace outgoing state Rep. Tim Quinn, who did not run for reelection. House District 54 covers Park City and Wasatch County.

Miller, a Midway resident who formerly lived in Park City, came close to upsetting the incumbent Quinn in 2018 with a campaign that emphasized her experience in the health care industry. Quinn, a Republican, narrowly held onto his seat by 162 votes. Miller is not facing an opponent in the Democratic primary.

Favero, a native of Utah and a longtime Republican, said that participating in the first-ever digital state GOP convention wasn’t as daunting of a task as it could have been, since he is experienced with remote work through his current job.

Senate District 19

Pleasant View resident Johnny Ferry was also unable to pull out the vote margin needed to avoid a primary contest against Ogden-based John D. Johnson in the race for state Senate District 19. The winner of that election will face Democrat Katy Owens, a Pinebrook resident who is running unopposed in her party’s primary.

The candidates are running to replace outgoing state Sen. Allen Christensen, a North Ogden Republican who last year announced he would retire from his post after the current term.

Race overview

Both candidates to represent state House District 53, which covers eastern Summit County and a large portion of the Basin, are running unopposed in their party primaries. Kera Birkeland, who was appointed to the seat that Logan Wilde vacated earlier this year, is set to defend the seat against former Summit County Democratic Party chair Cheryl Butler, a Park City resident. In House District 28, which covers a large part of Salt Lake City and Summit Park, incumbent Democrat Brian King is set to face a Republican challenger in fellow Salt Laker Carol Hunter.

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