Two Republicans will face off in June primary
Politically active citizens packed Park City High School Friday night as Republican candidates ranging from 50-year veterans to first-timers vying for Summit County Council tried to garner enough delegates’ votes to place their names on the November election ballot. Delegates were divided on only one Council seat, forcing two candidates into a June primary.
The 98 delegates at the Republican County Convention were only voting on Council candidates but hopefuls for state and national offices still bought tables at the convention and gave speeches proclaiming the changes they hoped to make. Incumbents like Utah Governor Gary Herbert and U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, who has held office since 1977, spoke about their track records and what they still hope to accomplish.
Delegate Scott Rogers from Park City said that while the speeches from the candidates were interesting, he already had a fairly clear idea about who he was going to support.
"I have lived here for a long time and been part of the election process before, so I know these people and know who to back," he said. "I think most delegates come into the convention knowing who they are going to vote for. Since being chosen as delegates we only had eight days to prepare so its all been happening very fast."
County council candidates needed about 60 delegates in order to secure their name on the November ballot and avoid a primary election in June. Sue Pollard, a Basin resident, received about 68 delegates’ votes to be named the Republican’s candidate for Council Seat B, currently held by Claudia McMullin. Republicans Randy Favero and Craig Eroh were knocked out of contention for the seat.
Duane Schmidt, the current mayor of Coalville, received the nomination for Council Seat C by a heavy majority, eliminating Park City resident Jeff Smith.
The two Republican candidates for Seat A, Max Greenhalgh and Michael Howard, both from Park City, received only 50 percent of the delegates each, forcing them into the June primary battle.
County Delegate Bruce Margolius from Marion said the state and national candidates did seem to distract a bit from the county issues but said he was excited by the large turnout.
"Over the past week we have been getting a lot of emails and phone calls from the candidates so I have a good idea on who I want to vote for," Margolius said. "I have been involved in politics for a long time and am frustrated with the current county government. I want to help elect Republican candidates to the Council and change the current mindset."
Summit County Republican Party Chair Henry Glasheen said the convention was "a home run" and that every county delegate except for one was in attendance.
"There were no big surprises of the night," he said. "Candidates for Congress and state offices usually choose to attend Summit County’s convention because some county delegates are also state delegates and it helps our party’s fundraising efforts."
Glasheen added that more than 26 candidates spoke at the convention and about 70 residents showed up just to listen to the speeches and watch the process.
The Republican State Convention will be held on April 21 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. According to the Utah GOP website, 4,000 delegates are expected to vote on candidates for Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer, Senator, Congressional District 1, Congressional District 2, Congressional District 3, Congressional District 4, and multi-county races for Utah State Senate and House of Representatives.
The Summit County Democratic Convention will be held on Saturday, March 31 at 4 p.m. at the Park City Community Church.
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