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June 28, 2024
State Government Affairs Update

Utah Primary Update 2024

Utah’s Primary Election results continued the multi-year trend of voters rejecting the Republican candidates selected by delegates at the Republican county and state conventions. Several incumbents were forced to Primaries this year by delegates, including Governor Spencer Cox, Congressman Blake Moore (UT-1st), Congresswoman Celeste Maloy (UT-2nd), and numerous state legislators. Despite these candidates’ loss at the conventions, Utah law allows candidates to reach the Primary Election ballot in two ways: they are either selected by delegates at county and state conventions or have secured enough signatures from registered voters to be included on the ballot. Given Utah’s demographics, the Primary Election often is the most significant election of the year since many seats and races are not competitive from a partisan perspective. Below are highlights from Utah’s Primary Election. Ballots in some counties and races are still being counted as of the time of this writing, so some vote totals and percentages might change as the final canvass is completed. To see up-to-date election results as the final votes are counted, visit

Governor: Spencer Cox

Incumbent Governor Spencer Cox experienced a rough Republican Convention season this year as he was booed at many county conventions and encountered a notably tense exchange with booing delegates at the State Republican Convention. He was forced to a Primary, but prevailed over his inter-party challenger State Representative Phil Lyman by over 40,000 votes. Governor Cox will go on to face Democrat and current state legislator Brian King in the November General Election. 

US Senate: John Curtis

Current 3rd District Congressman John Curtis won a 4-way Primary to replace retiring Senator Mitt Romney with 49.22% of the vote, significantly outdistancing his nearest opponent by nearly 18 points. He will face Democratic challenger Caroline Gleich and Independent American candidate Carlton Bowen in the General Election. 

Utah 1st Congressional District: Blake Moore

Incumbent Blake Moore was forced to a Primary at the State Republican Convention by delegates, but won a resounding Primary victory over his opponent with 71.22% of the vote.

Utah 2nd Congressional District: Too Close to Call

Incumbent Celeste Maloy also was forced to a Primary at the State Republican Convention by delegates and is narrowly leading her opponent Colby Jenkins by approximately 1,000 votes. With some votes still being counted, this race is too close to call. The largest amount of uncounted votes are in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, which have broken for Maloy thus far. If trends hold, she should have a narrow Primary victory. 

Utah 3rd Congressional District: Mike Kennedy

This seat was occupied by Congressman John Curtis. His departure for a U.S. Senate run opened up a seat with several challengers throwing their hat in the ring. Thanks to both signature gathering and the State Republican Convention, this seat became a hotly contested 5-way Republican Primary. Mike Kennedy won with 38.13% of the vote and leads his nearest challenger by over 15,000 votes. 

Utah Attorney General: Derek Brown

An office that has been plagued by repeated scandals going back three former AG’s, this open seat also drew several candidates. Derek Brown was eliminated at the state convention by the delegates, but thanks to the signature gathering path, he remained on the ballot for the Primary. Brown won the Republican Primary as he has 40,000 votes more than Rachel Terry and more than 70,000 votes more than Frank Mylar. 

State Senate Races:

Sen. Don Ipson (R- St. George) had the closest call of incumbent senators in the primary election as he is leading challenger Chad Bennion by only 624 votes. Bennion defeated Ipson at the convention but failed to secure the 70% requirement by the county party to avoid a primary. Ipson likely will be reelected in November in the general election as St. George, where Ipson is located, votes heavily Republican. Other incumbent state senators forced to Republican Primaries who won include: Sen. Todd Weiler (R- Woods Cross), Sen. Wayne Harper (R- West Jordan), and Sen. Heidi Balderree (R- Saratoga Springs). Newcomer Scott Cutherbertson won the Republican nomination in Senate Seat 15, which covers the middle and eastern side of Salt Lake County, and will take on sitting Democratic Senator Kathleen Riebe (D-Cottonwood Heights) in the November election.  

State House Races:

Two incumbents in the House will not be returning next year to the state capitol due to the primary election results. Draper Republican Jeff Stenquist (R-Draper) was defeated soundly by current Draper City Councilman Cal Roberts. Roberts routed Stenquist 71% to 29% in the vote tally. Also, Salt Lake City House Democrat Joel Briscoe (D-Salt Lake City) was defeated by Grant Amjad Miller. Miller ran to the left of Briscoe on issues and ended up beating him by nearly 400 votes. 

Other victors running for a state House seat included incumbent Republicans Mike Petersen (R-North Logan), Trevor Lee (R-Layton), Stewart Barlow (R-Fruit Heights), Ray Ward (R-Bountiful), Ken Ivory (R-South Jordan), and Christine Watkins (R-Price). Republican candidates David Atkin (House 21), Fred Cox (House 30), Clint Okerlund (House 42), Tracy Miller (House 45), David Shallenberger (House 58), Lisa Shepherd (House 61), Troy Shelley (House 66), and Logan Monson (House 69) also won. Democrat Hoang Nguyen (House 23) also won in a primary. 

To see up-to-date election results as the final votes are counted, visit

This publication is designed to provide general information on pertinent legal topics. The statements made are provided for educational purposes only. They do not constitute legal or financial advice nor do they necessarily reflect the views of Holland & Hart LLP or any of its attorneys other than the author(s). This publication is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and Holland & Hart LLP. Substantive changes in the law subsequent to the date of this publication might affect the analysis or commentary. Similarly, the analysis may differ depending on the jurisdiction or circumstances. If you have specific questions as to the application of the law to your activities, you should seek the advice of your legal counsel.


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