Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
SANDY — Gov. Gary Herbert will be the Republican Party nominee for governor in November.
Herbert won 63.3 percent of the vote in a second round of balloting over former state lawmaker Morgan Philpot, more than the 60 percent needed to avoid a party primary in June.
The second round of voting came after the other four candidates, Utah tea party leader David Kirkham, Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, Lane Ronnow and William Skokas, failed to advance.
Kirkham, who came in a distant third in the initial balloting, threw his support behind the governor in the second round, which was needed after Herbert fell just short of the 60 percent needed in the first round.
"Make no mistake, I support local control not federal control of education," a forceful Herbert told the delegates before the second round of voting started. "Do not be misled on this issue."
The governor said he doesn't just talk about parental control, he stands up for it, citing his veto of the 2012 Legislature's controversial sex education bill.
And while Herbert said the fight against federal control should continue, he said Utahns should not lose sight of need to continue the state's economic recovery.
"Let's not take our eye off the ball," he said.
Philpot had told the delegates that "leadership is not taking credit, it is taking responsibility" and accused the Herbert administration of "making promises it has already broken."
He urged delegates not to back "politicians who do not deliver when they have the chance." A former state lawmaker, two years ago Philpot nearly defeated the state's only Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Jim Matheson.
His message centered on standing up to the federal government on many issues, especially public lands and education.
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