Last night saw a primary battle that whittled down the number of Republican candidates who will have the privilege of trampling their Democratic opponents in November.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney cemented his status as Utah’s Presidential golden boy by locking down 93 percent of the vote. But Mormon Libertarians did help Ron Paul make a fair showing in the state with an over-the-hills-and-distant second-place finish with 4.7 percent.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah’s 36-year incumbent, has now assured himself of another six years in D.C. His mega-money, nearly $10 million campaign helped him gain 66 percent of the vote, trouncing his opponent Dan Liljenquist (33 percent).
In a state-level election battle where more than one elbow was thrown in the hard-fought and incredibly negative race, Deputy Chief Attorney General John Swallow came out ahead in his race with Sean Reyes, garnering 68 percent of the vote to Reyes’ 31 percent.
In a race that pitted former legislator John “frugal” Dougall against the current auditor Austen Johnson, Dougall’s name recognition and clever campaign helped him beat Johnson, 53 percent to Johnson’s 46 percent.
Salt Lake County Mayor
By the kind of razor-thin margin that you could slice a campaign apart with, West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder lost his party’s nomination bid to longtime Salt Lake County Councilman Mark Crockett. Crockett clinched the nomination with 34,481 votes to Winder’s 34,242 -- a margin of 239 votes
Salt Lake County At Large
In another interesting county showdown, Joseph Demma, the current Director of Communications for the Department of Workforce Services, beat Mel Nimer, former head of the Log Cabin Republican, an advocacy group for gay Republicans. Demma secured the nomination with 31,867 votes to Nimer’s 26,510
In another showdown, Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, lost his party’s nomination to challenger Merrill Nelson. Wright, who has drawn criticism for his 2011 guest-worker bill and his controversial sex-ed bill that was passed in the 2012 session only to be vetoed by the Governor, received 47 percent of the vote to Nelson’s 52 percent.
For more election results visit the Utah Elections Results page here.