Gray wins County Attorney race as GOP primary results come in
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald file photo
As Tuesday came and went, many Utah County residents made their ways to polling places and thought about their already-mailed ballots. It was just a matter of waiting for results.
“I hope this election highlights our values and we focus on what we care the most about,” Danielle Maddox said after voting in American Fork. “I think county elections say a lot about who we are as people. I think voting is important because I believe change happens at a local level. I think that’s where the most important decisions come down to — what is going to be done on a local level.”
According to the Utah County Election Office’s official Twitter page, preliminary election results would be released around 8 p.m. and intermittently released as updated numbers were in through the evening and coming days.
Utah County Clerk/Auditor Josh Daniels said the preliminary election results would be approximately 75% of the total votes. Preliminary results were released at approximately 8:10 p.m. showing around 61,600 ballots were cast so far.
3rd Congressional District
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
Incumbent Rep. John Curtis received 68.51% of the votes, compared to challenger Chris Herrod’s 31.49% in Utah County. This is Curtis and Herrod’s third time competing against each other in a primary election. Curtis did not respond to request for comment.
In response to the preliminary results, Herrod said, “Obviously, it’s not going the way we had thought or hoped.”
The 3rd District stretches from Provo, north to Park City, along the eastern border of the state down south to Moab. Districtwide, Curtis, as of late Tuesday, had 72.68% and was called the victor by The Associated Press. Herrod did not respond when asked if he planned to concede.
4th Congressional District
Incumbent Burgess Owens received 64.36% out of 22,890 votes and challenger Jake Hunsaker received 35.64%.
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
Hunsaker told the Daily Herald he is encouraged by the strong showing so far.
“There remain many votes to be counted, and we will continue to monitor the results closely throughout the evening,” he said.
Throughout the campaign season, Owens has remained silent and chose not to participate in several events and debates. His opponent, Hunsaker, called Owens out saying his silence is a political tactic to avoid answering “tough questions.” One of Hunsaker’s main campaign point was that he would be available to Utahns. AP called the race at 8:44 p.m., with Owens having just over 60% support.
Utah County attorney
The race for Utah County attorney may be the most covered race in this year’s political season. Drawing national attention, challenger Jeff Gray won with over twice the votes incumbent David Leavitt received.
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
Gray had 72.25% of a total of 53,953 votes cast as Leavitt fell behind with 27.75%.
Leavitt told the Daily Herald that he plans on calling Gray to congratulate him on his victory.
“I think they are definitive results,” Leavitt said. “I’m not one to call them preliminary. I think it shows people are really swayed by crazy things that people say. Creating rumors and innuendos apparently works. The people of Utah County have spoken, and even though I think their message is based on wrong data, their message is they don’t want reform. I’m proud of what I have done and what I have accomplished.”
Gray gained a host of supporters during his campaign through a common goal — removing Leavitt from office.
“We are thrilled with the three and if they hold up as we anticipate they will, it’s a great win for Utah County,” Gray told the Daily Herald. “I think the winners in this are Utah County residents and victims of crime. I am super appreciative of my supporters, especially my wife and Adam Pomeroy. This wouldn’t have happened without them.”
Utah County Commission Seat A
Incumbent Amelia Powers Gardner held a significant lead in the first round of released votes with 65.48% compared to challenger Renee Tribe’s 34.52%.
“We are very pleased with the preliminary results of our primary race,” Powers Gardner said. “We are very proud of the positive, issues-based campaign that we ran and are very thankful to the many voters who rewarded us with their support. We will wait for the final election results to come in, but I am thrilled at the prospect of continuing to serve Utah County residents as a commissioner.”
As she has already served as a commissioner for a year, Powers Gardner sees a need to address supporting county growth, affordable housing and water needs for the county, if reelected.
If elected, Tribe previously said she would focus on election stability, eliminating government outreach on the public’s liberties and freedoms.
Utah County Commission Seat B
Incumbent Bill Lee and challenger Brandon Gordon are running the closest race, according to early results, for Commissioner Seat B. Lee collected 48.09% of votes while Gordon has 51.91% of the 57,967 votes cast.
Lee is seeking to be reelected for a third term. After serving the county for almost eight years, he believes he can make the biggest impact for the county in housing, water and mental health issues.
Although Gordon has no experience on the county level, he is in his third term on the Spanish Fork City Council. His highest priorities are making the commission meetings more accessible to county residents and strengthening the county’s relationship with law enforcement and cities within the county.
“I am very encouraged by the first results and excited to see the numbers later tonight,” Gordon told the Daily Herald. “I’m ready to work with the people of Utah County.”
Utah County auditor
Candidate Rod Mann, the former mayor of Highland, is currently in the lead for Utah County auditor with 55.74% of the votes, while Rudy Livingston trails with 44.26% of the total 56,859 votes.
Mann said he is very pleased with the election results so far.
“These are very optimistic, and I feel very grateful of those who support me,” he said.
Mann believes transparency and ease of access to the public is needed in the auditor’s office above all else.
Livingston is the budget manager for Utah County and declined to comment Tuesday evening.
State Senate District 23
Out of 9,369 votes, incumbent Sen. Keith Grover won 70.66% of votes compared to challenger Brandon Beckham’s 29.34%.
Utah State School Board District 11
Incumbent Cindy Davis has received 54.22% of the total votes counted in the district which is mostly in Utah County, stretching slightly into Salt Lake County. Kim Del Grosso trailed with 45.78% support.