Salt Lake County Democrats nominate Iwamoto for Senate District 4 seat
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
WEST JORDAN — Salt Lake County Democrats settled the high-profile Senate District 4 race at their convention Saturday by nominating former Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jani Iwamoto.
Iwamoto, who defeated former state Sen. Ross Romero on the first ballot with the support of 62 percent of the county delegates, is seeking the seat held by retiring Senate Minority Assistant Whip Pat Jones, D-Holladay.
But Democrats at the convention decided their should be a primary election in the Salt Lake County Auditor's race between the former county auditor, Jeff Hatch, and Christopher Stout.
There will also be a primary in House District 38, a seat held by Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, between Chrystal Butterfield and Elias McGraw after they tied 50-50 on a second ballot.
"We had better turnout than we thought," Salt Lake County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Jaramillo said. "We had a huge number of new attendees and new interest in the party."
Jaramillo credited Iwamoto with "bringing in a number of supporters who were not typical Democratic Party participants." The political newcomers, he said, helped push the auditor's race to a primary.
"You see a little bit of our institutional support leaning one way versus our grassroots folks," Jaramillo said.
He said it was "a little frustrating" to have a primary in the race because Republicans voted out Salt Lake County Auditor Greg Hawkins at their county convention, also held Saturday.
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