State Rep. Frank Prante, D-Logan, the first Democrat to win a Utah House seat from conservative Cache County in half a century, is withdrawing from his re-election race for health reasons.

Prante, considered one of the bright, young Democrats in the House, first won election in 1986 in what is considered an upset. Prante represents District 4, which includes parts of Logan, northern Cache County and northern Rich County.Prante's withdrawal means the seat will probably go to Republican Fred R. Hunsaker, the only other candidate who filed.

Because Prante is withdrawing for health reasons, the state Democratic Party Central Committee can replace him on the ballot with another candidate, but it would be difficult for an unknown to win in the heavily Republican district with only three weeks left.

Prante's wife, Cynthia, told the Deseret News that Prante had been hospitalized for several days, needs major surgery in the near future and cannot continue the race.