A look at preliminary primary election results at vote.utah.gov and utahcounty.gov reveals a lot of lopsided margins, but also a pair of races that may be too close to call for a week or two. Here’s a quick look at the races I mentioned a few days ago in my idiosyncratic little election guide.
Federal Offices: No Surprises
US Senate (Republican): Mitt Romney has defeated Mike Kennedy by roughly three-to-one in the race to replace Orrin Hatch. He will face opponents from four other parties in the general election, but it’s not likely to be close.
US House of Representatives, Utah District 3 (Republican): sort-of-incumbent John Curtis has defeated Chris Herrod by a similar margin and moves on to face three opponents the general election. Here, too, a close race would be a surprise.
Utah County Offices: Not That Close
Utah County Commission, Seat A (Republican): Tanner Ainge has defeated Tom Sakievich by more than a 2-to-1 margin. He will face a United Utah opponent in the November general election, but no Democrat.
Utah County Attorney (Republican): David Leavitt has defeated Chad Grunander — by about a 3-to-2 margin. He will face a Libertarian opponent in the general election, but no Democrat.
Utah County Sheriff (Republican): Mike Smith won by about 25 percent over Jim Phelps. He will be unopposed in the general election.
School Boards: Photo Finish
State School Board, District 9 (nonpartisan, top two advance): Cindy Davis wins a spot on the November ballot with more than half the vote. The race for second place is close enough that it may be days or weeks before we’ll know whether Joylin Lincoln (currently second), Avalie Muhlestein (currently 19 votes out of second place) or Kami Alvarez (186 votes out of second place) will win the other slot on the ballot.
Alpine School Board, District 3 (nonpartisan, top two advance): We can safely say that Sarah Beeson will finish first; she has more than half the vote. Kara Sherman leads ‘Afa Palu by 96 votes for the other spot on the general election ballot; that one is still up for grabs.
Judging by the current numbers, the two school board races are worth watching in coming days. The final canvass of votes is legally required by July 10; we may not know until then who won the close races, but we should see periodic updates of counted votes in the meantime. Don’t be surprised to see results change.
And maybe it’s just me, but I think all the candidates are worth thanking. So are their families. Mike Kennedy, Mitt Romney’s opponent, aptly spoke tonight of the importance of having a conversation, not a coronation. That applies in races of all levels.
(Updated 6/27/2018 at 8:50 am.)