Sheriff defeats Republican challenger at convention
April 2, 2010
In the end it wasn’t even close.
Incumbent Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds won the 2010 Summit County Republican Party nominating convention defeating South Summit resident Kris Hendricksen in the sheriff race. Edmunds received more than 68 percent of the delegate votes at Wednesday’s convention.
Edmunds needed 60 percent of the 93 votes to defeat Hendricksen at the convention, become the Republican nominee for sheriff and avoid an intra-party primary election this summer.
"It’s always humbling when the delegates make you the nominee for the party," Edmunds said.
Delegates voted for Edmunds 64-29. Edmunds is now slated to take on Francis Democrat Dax Shane in the general election Nov. 2.
"We’re going to look forward to a vigorous general election," Edmunds said in an interview after the convention. "My campaign mantra is: Continued Forward Progression. And we’re going to continue to talk about that."
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Republican Summit County Attorney David Brickey, who is unopposed this year in his bid for a third term, endorsed Edmunds Wednesday night.
"I think the delegates made the right choice," Brickey said. "[Edmunds] will be the sheriff come November."
Hendricksen is a former Sheriff’s Office deputy who resigned from the department about 18 months ago.
"The people spoke. This is part of the political process," Hendricksen said in an interview after the convention. "[Edmunds] has played the game before. He knows what he’s doing."
Hendricksen Wednesday night did not endorse Edmunds or Shane in the general election.
"I think it is going to be a very close race," Hendricksen said. "[Shane] has got some very good ideas. He is young and aggressive."
When reached Thursday Shane said the convention results did not disappoint him.
"I spoke with Edmunds last night and congratulated him. I am going to let him regroup because it has kind of been tough on him as well as Hendricksen over the last couple weeks. I’m not looking to stir things up with him at this point," Shane said. "We have until November. We have a long time."
Edmunds was nominated as a candidate at Wednesday’s convention by Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter.
"I have no hesitation in nominating my sheriff, Dave Edmunds," Carpenter told the audience.
Meanwhile, Hendricksen criticized Edmunds for attending college classes and exploring other job opportunities while sheriff.
"This sheriff will be in the office," Hendricksen told the delegates. "I will not be working to further my education or to gain employment."
Edmunds has received a graduate degree from University of Utah since being elected sheriff.
‘More people involved’
Hundreds of people attended the convention and Snyderville Basin Republican Art Brothers said he was pleased with the high turnout.
"I think it is a wonderful thing and we have Obama to thank. The efforts that he has made have stirred up a lot of people," Brothers said in an interview at the convention. "The more grassroots involvement we have, the more likely we are to get people into office who represent our values."
A hotly contested race in Summit County in the coming weeks could be the battle between two East Side Republicans in the race for state House District 53. Wanship Republican Jon Hellander has challenged Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, who is seeking another term in the Legislature.
"I stand here tonight as the person who will represent the voice of the people," Hellander said at the convention. "I stand for conservative, fiscal responsibility."
The contest is headed for a primary election unless one of the Republican candidates has enough delegate votes at the May 8 state convention to avoid facing off this summer.
Brown pledged to continue fighting on behalf of schools in his district, which could loose millions of dollars if education funding is further equalized.
"Summit County is under siege in the Legislature," Brown said Wednesday. "The issue is called capital equalization."
"We need to be sure that we are protected and don’t allow that to happen," Brown added.
Convention-goers also heard from Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and Congressman Rob Bishop, a Republican who represents Summit County in Washington, D.C. All three politicians are seeking new terms and several of their GOP challengers also spoke Wednesday in Park City.
Bennett is facing a tough fight from his own party.
"So many people are so pessimistic and say this is the worst time we have ever had and there is nothing we can do about it," Bennett said in his speech to delegates. "Be optimistic. Be patriotic."