Dozens file for office across Utah County
Courtesy Keven Stratton
Lawn signs will be out in spades this year in Utah County. With Friday serving as the end of the candidate filing period, 84 people have filed to run for office and represent Utah County, at the county, state and federal levels.
While the dozens of candidates are looking to hold office in Utah County, one local elected official opted to chart a different path.
Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer, who has worked over a decade to help the city continue to grow, opted to throw her hat in the ring for Congress — in Northern Utah’s District 1.
“If there is anyone that can protect and represent the values, understand the issues and then accomplish what needs to be done, I am that person,” Fullmer said. “I serve on multiple regional and state boards working with the local leaders in CD1. I know the issues we are facing as communities, and I look forward to continuing that service in another capacity.”
Even in announcing her run, Fullmer expressed pride of Vineyard’s past, present and future. She told the Daily Herald that part of her decision to run is knowing that Vineyard is set up for success and “is being supported by a team of high-powered individuals who love the community.”
Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo
In addition to the partisan offices, there are 31 candidates for various school board seats and six candidates for two state school board seats. All of the county and state nominees will be seeking office through the convention process.
U.S. Senate: Ten filed to run for the seat now held by Mike Lee, including the incumbent, a Republican. Republicans Becky Edwards and Ally Isom are also running as well as three other GOPers, independent Evan McMullin, Democrat Kael Weston and two Libertarians.
U.S. House District 3: Running again for his third term in the House is Rep. John Curtis. The former Provo mayor first took office after a special election in 2017 to replace Jason Chaffetz. While covering Provo, Orem and most of northern Utah County, the boundaries now stretch from Park City and the Uinta Mountains to the Navajo Nation and the state’s southern border.
Curtis has eight challengers filed with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, including candidates from the Libertarian and Constitution parties. The Democratic candidates are Orem’s Archie Williams III and Summit County Councilman Glenn Wright.
The other Republicans in the race are Jason Preston, Lyman Wright, Tim Aalders and Chris Herrod. Herrod ran for the seat in the special election in 2017 and then again in the primary before, both times, losing to Curtis. He also ran, unsuccessfully, for the Utah County Commission in 2021 in a race eventually won by Amelia Powers Gardner. Brandon Casper also previously declared his intent to run for office.
U.S. House District 4: First-term Congressman Burgess Owens filed to run once more for the seat, running in a narrower field than those of his other colleagues in the state’s federal delegation. One other Republican is running, former tech worker Jake Hunsaker, along with United Utah Party candidate January Walker from American Fork and Democrat Darlene McDonald.
The 4th District encompasses all of Utah County west of Utah Lake, west of the freeway in Lehi and parts south of 400 South in Springville.
County Commission Seat A: Running for the first time as an incumbent, Gardner, a Republican, will be joined on the ballot by five others. Steven Diamond, Shawn Herring and Renee Tribe filed to run as Republicans, Tom Tomeny listed his party as unaffiliated and Jeanne Bowen is running as a Democrat. Herring was a write-in candidate for mayor of Vineyard in 2017, Tribe sits on the Lindon City Planning Commission and Diamond is an Orem resident. Bowen also previously ran for the commission in 2018.
County Commission Seat B: The longest tenured member of the County Commission, Bill Lee filed to run for reelection. He is being challenged by Brandon Gordon and Gregory Graves, both Republicans. Graves sat on the commission from 2014 until 2018 when he decided not to run for reelection and Gordon is a member of the Spanish Fork City Council.
Sheriff: Mike Smith, the current sheriff, was first elected to office in 2018 after decades working in law enforcement. Two others, both Republicans as well, have filed to run against him: Hyrum Cox, who joined the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in 2013 after starting his career in law enforcement in 2006, and Jeff Wabel, a former Utah County Sheriff’s deputy.
Attorney: David Leavitt, the current county attorney, has filed to run again to a post he has held since being elected in 2018. He has faced controversy in recent months and public letters of no confidence from the Utah County Fraternal Order of Police and a slate of current and former prosecutors in the office. The other candidates are Jeff Gray, an assistant Utah solicitor general, and Adam Pomeroy, a deputy prosecutor in the office.
Auditor: For the first time, after a decision by the Utah County Commission in 2021, the Clerk/Auditor’s Office will have two officials. In the race for auditor is Taylor Williams, the current deputy clerk/auditor, and two challengers, Rudy Livingston and Rod Mann. Livingston is the Utah County budget officer and Mann is the former mayor of Highland.
Clerk: As the position is newly created, there is no incumbent seeking the clerk position; however, Russ Rampton, deputy clerk, is seeking the position. The other two Republican candidates are Aaron Davidson and Heidi Balderree. Jake Oaks is also running, having filed with the Independent American Party.
Due to redistricting after the 2020 census, district numbers for representatives, along with boundaries, have been changed. Updated versions of the Utah House map can be found online at http://ballotpedia.org/Utah_state_legislative_districts.
Senate District 18: Stretching barely into Utah County, Sen. Dan McCay of Riverton is running for reelection. He is opposed by United Utah Party candidate Jed Nordfelt, a pediatric dentist, and Democrat Catherine Voutaz a Herriman resident who previously ran for the Utah House.
Senate District 23: Running again for the seat is Sen. Keith Grover. Before redistricting, he represented District 7 and first took office in 2007. The only other candidate is Brandon Beckham, a self-described “Conservative Republican.”
House District 50: A newly-formed district, there is no incumbent for the area with most of its population in Eagle Mountain. The three candidates for the seat are Stephanie Gricius, Christian Loraine and David Lifferth.
House District 51: Incumbent Rep. Jefferson Moss, a Republican, is running for the seat, in addition to challenger Jeremy Baker, a Libertarian from Lehi. Moss has been in office since 2017.
House District 52: Incumbent Rep. Cory Maloy is running once again with only one challenger, Jean Leonard, who did not include a city of residence on his filed paperwork. Both Maloy and Leonard are Republicans. Maloy has been in office since 2017.
House District 53: With four candidates in the field, the Lehi-based district is one of the most contested in the state. The only Republican in the race is incumbent Rep. Kay Christofferson. He is being challenged by Libertarian W. Andrew McCullough and two Democrats — Carl Bechtold and Ann Schreck. Christofferson has been in office since 2013.
House District 54: Incumbent Rep. Brady Brammer is running again for office as the lone Republican in the race. Democrat Nikki Pino and United Utah Party candidate Andrew Matishen are also seeking the seat. Brammer has been in office since 2019.
House District 55: Running unopposed for the seat is Republican Jon Hawkins, the incumbent. Hawkins has been in office since 2019.
House District 56: Running unopposed for the seat is Republican Val Peterson, the incumbent. Peterson has been in office since 2011.
House District 57: Running unopposed for the seat is Republican Nelson Abbott, the incumbent. Abbott has been in office since 2021.
House District 58: All hailing from Orem, three are in the race for the seat extending east into the county. Rep. Keven Stratton seeks the seat, along with fellow Republican Jason Christensen and Democrat Lucas Ramirez. Stratton has been in office since being appointed in 2012.
House District 60: Running unopposed for the seat is Republican Adam Robertson, the incumbent. Robertson has been in office since being appointed in 2018.
House District 61: Marsha Judkins is running for reelection in the Provo seat with Democratic candidate Michael Anderson as her lone opposition. Judkins has been in office since being appointed in 2018.
House District 62: Rep. Norm Thurston is running once again for the seat with Democrat Daniel Friend as the only other candidate. Thurston beat Friend for the seat in 2018. Thurston has been in office since 2015.
House District 63: Running unopposed for the seat is Republican Stephen Whyte, the incumbent. Whyte took over the seat in 2021 upon the retirement of longtime representative Francis Gibson.
House District 64: Covering part of south Utah County, Rep. Jefferson Burton is running for reelection against Republican Kristen Swensen and Alan Wessman with the United Utah Party. Burton has been in office since 2021.
House District 65: Douglas Welton is running for reelection, this time in a district significantly smaller with much of the former land now in District 50. Running against Welton is Jay Ugarte, also a Republican. Welton has been in office since 2021.
House District 66: The only house seat that stretches beyond Utah County’s borders, both sitting Rep. Steven Lund, a Republican, and Russ Hatch, with the Constitution Party, reside in Manti. Lund has been in office since 2021.
Chairs of both the Utah County Republican Party and Democratic Party are optimistic about their fields of candidates.
“We’re excited for another election season filled with great conservative candidates. We have a top-notch group running for county offices and a tremendous pool of state office candidates to represent Utah County on capitol hill,” Republican Party Chair Skylar Beltran said. He also congratulated the Republican incumbents running without opposition and, therefore, winning their respective seats.
For the Democrats, who currently hold no elected offices in Utah County, this cycle is a chance to build momentum. In 2020, the party only fielded one candidate. There are seven running for statewide offices this year. Party Chair Katie Adams-Anderton went through each individual Democratic candidate for state office, sharing their highlights from experience to relatability among young populations.
“Overall we have a really good selection of candidates. I’m just excited for each and every one,” Adams-Anderton said. One race, in particular, can be a sign to the party’s viability. “We hope with all of our candidates, we can get them into their elected seats. But if we can get Daniel Friend, in the heart of Provo, to be an elected official, I think it shows that anywhere in Utah you can have an elected official that is a Democrat.”
The primary election will be held June 28 with the general election on Nov. 8.