Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: What to expect and learn from the primary elections

Published: Sunday, June 24 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Pignanelli: The incumbent Johnson has provided a steady hand in this job for many years. But if citizens want the political equivalent of the Samurai ride at Lagoon, they will elect Dougall. As a lawmaker, Dougall was not shy in shaking the system for efficiencies. Dougall's possession of statewide audit authority may frighten some, but will entertain most of us.

Salt Lake County Mayor. Mike Winder and Mark Crockett are in a heated battle. Who carries the GOP banner into the fall?

Pignanelli: The well-publicized issues dogging West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder almost prevented him from a slot for the primary against former Council Member Mark Crockett. The Convention provided a real momentum to Crockett, but the Energizer Bunny (aka Winder) was relentless in his campaign and has a real chance to win this close race. A Winder victory will be a huge comeback in Utah's political history.

Webb: Electability is an issue in this race because the winner faces Ben McAdams, a formidable Democrat. Crockett is the more conservative of the two, but downtown business interests worry that he takes a tea party approach, opposing anything that costs money. Winder enjoys higher name ID and would be more of mainstream community builder, but he has his Richard Burwash baggage. My bet: Crockett narrowly wins.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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