On Jan. 2, the lieutenant governor’s office, and county clerk offices throughout the state, opened the filing process for candidates running for state and federal government positions who intend to gather signatures to be placed on the June 30 primary election ballot.
As of Monday, 65 candidates in various races — United States House, governor, state House and Senate, treasurer and recorder, among others — had filed an intent to gather signatures.
Signature-gathering is a breakaway from the traditional method for getting on a ballot, which is typically achieved by being nominated at the party’s caucus.
The number of signatures needed to earn a spot on the primary ballot differs depending on the race. U.S. House races require 7,000 signatures while U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races require 28,000 signatures, according to the lieutenant governor’s office. State House and Senate races require 1,000 and 2,000 signatures, respectively.
County office races, such as for a county treasurer, recorder or assessor seat, require 3% of voters permitted to vote in the political party’s primary who live in the district.
Filing an intent to gather signatures is not considered a declaration of candidacy, according to the lieutenant governor’s office, and those gathering signatures must still file a candidacy declaration between March 13 and 19.
Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, is among the incumbents who filed an intent to gather signatures. A number of opponents in the race for McAdams’ 4th Congressional District seat also filed to gather signatures, including Republicans Kathleen Anderson, Burgess Owens and Jay McFarland and Democrat Daniel Beckstrand.
Eight political candidates, including seven incumbents, had filed an intent to gather signatures with the Utah County Clerk/Auditor’s Office as of Monday, according to county elections director Rozan Mitchell.
Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie, whose four-year term on the commission is over at the end of the year, will be gathering signatures during his run for reelection. Ivie will be required to collect 5,550 signatures in order to secure a spot on the ballot.
So far, five candidates for state House seats in Utah County have filed an intent to gather signatures. Among them are Rep. Brady Brammer, who is running for reelection in District 27 and David Shallenberger, who is running in District 48. The others are Rep. Kay Christofferson (District 56), Rep. Jon Hawkins (District 57) and Mike McKell (District 66).
In the state Senate, District 16 Sen. Curt Bramble, who is up for reelection, is one of two candidates who is planning to collect signatures. The other is Utah Senate Majority Whip Dan Hemmert, who filed an intent to gather signatures in the District 14 race.
James Moss, who is running for District 12 of the state school board, which includes central and northern Utah County, filed his intent to gather signatures.
The popularity of gathering signatures when running for office has grown in the last few years, Mitchell said, although she added she was surprised more candidates in the county hadn’t filed.
“This is a sure path to the primary,” said Mitchell.
Candidates for office have until two weeks before convention to gather the necessary number of signatures and turn them in to the appropriate election officer, according to Mitchell.