Big turnover expected for 2013 Legislature, but not big changes politically

Published: Saturday, July 7 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

The primary candidates who ousted the House incumbents all have opponents on the November ballot — Democrat Thomas Nedreburg and Constitution Party candidate Paul McCollaum in House District 68; Democrat Emmanuel Kepas in House District 60; Democrat Doug Thompson in House District 4; and Republican Craig Hall in House District 33. 

GOP House member Patrick Painter of Nephi is out, too, having lost his bid for the Senate to incumbent Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe. Okerlund faces only a Constitution Party challenger, Trestin Meacham, in November's Senate District 24 race. 

Rep. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, may be moving to the Senate after defeating Sen. Casey Anderson in the Senate District 28 primary. Anderson had been named to replace the late Sen. Dennis Stowell last year. Vickers has a Democratic opponent in November's election, Geoffrey Chesnut. 

Another incumbent, Rep. Brad Galvez, R-West Haven, won't be back because redistricting put him in the same district as Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, and it was Perry who won the House District 29 primary. Perry now faces Democrat Heidi Bitton in November. 

There were also primaries in several districts where incumbents chose not to seek re-election, guaranteeing someone new will fill those seats.

In the Senate District 8 Democratic primary, voters chose former lieutenant governor candidate Josie Valdez over former House member Ty McCartney for the seat held by retiring Senate Minority Whip Karen Morgan, D-Cottonwood Heights. Republican Brian Shiozawa is the Republican on the ballot in the Senate District 8 race.

Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork, took on state Auditor Auston Johnson in the GOP and won. Mike Kennedy beat Sarah Nitta in the GOP House District 27 primary to claim a spot on the November ballot with Constitution Party candidate Scott Morgan. 

In House District 56, the seat held by Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, who ran unsuccessfully for governor, will be battled over by GOP primary winner Kay Christofferson and Democrat Leslie Dalton.

And in House District 57, Rep. Craig Frank, R-Cedar Hills, failed at the state Republican Party Convention to unseat Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem. Voters will choose between Republican Brian Greene and Democratic Scott Gygi in November. 

Incumbent Republican Reps. Steve Handy in House District 16 and Douglas Sagers in House District 21 were both able to defeat their intraparty challengers in the primary. Their opponents in November are Democrat Douglas Sill and Libertarian Kevin Bryan in District 16, and Democrat David Swan and Constitution Party candidate William Bodine in District 21.

A race between two lawmakers put in the same West Valley legislative district won't be settled until November, when Rep. Fred Cox, a Republican, faces Rep. Janice Fisher, a Democrat.

The list of those already gone or leaving at the end of their term also includes Republicans who sought higher office and saw their hopes dashed — former House Reps. Dave Clark, Carl Wimmer, Stephen Sandstrom, who all ran unsuccessfully for Congress; and former Sen. Dan Liljenquist as well as Rep. Chris Herrod, who both failed in their bid for the U.S. Senate. Former Rep. Holly Richardson, R-Pleasant Grove, left to help run Liljenquist's campaign.

On the Democratic side, Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake, chose not to seek re-election after being put in the same legislative district as Sen. Pat Jones, a fellow Democrat. Instead, Romero chose to run for Salt Lake County mayor, but lost the nomination at the party's state convention to Sen. Ben McAdams, whose term in the Legislature won't be up for two years.

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com

Twitter: dnewspolitics

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