Considering that Ty Markham was a political novice, her run against Republican mainstay Mike Noel for District 73 left her "shocked" at the extent of her gains at the ballot box.
"I got almost 30 percent of the vote," she says on the phone from Torrey, part of House District 73. "The tide just might be turning."
Markham, standing for the Justice Party, garnered 3,639 votes, representing 27.8 percent of the total votes cast. Noel, who has served there since 2002, and was running for his sixth term, got 9,452, 72.2 percent.
While Noel ran unchallenged in 2010, in 2008 his closest competitor managed to get only 2,863, markedly less than Markham.
Perhaps of even more significance for Noel, who did not return a call seeking comment, was that in Kane County, Markham got her highest percentage of votes against Noel. She gained 1,144 votes, while Noel got 1,947.
Noel's relationship as an independent contractor with the Kane County Water Conservancy district has come under some scrutiny, particularly since Alliance for a Better Utah filed a request for a Hatch Act investigation into his dual roles as legislator and water district director.