Voters in Davis County picking up their ballots on Election Day next week will find they have little choice in the majority of the countywide races.
Two county commission races have two candidates each (see stories on Page B1). But seven other county offices have only a single candidate - and all of them are Republicans.In some races, only a single candidate filed, even within the GOP. Three races were decided in the September primary and one was decided last May in the party's county convention.
Three incumbent county officials never faced any opposition: County Attorney Mel Wilson, County Assessor Willard Gardner and County Surveyor Max Elliott. Each will appear alone on the Nov. 6 ballot.
County Recorder Carol Dean Page had an opponent from within her own party, Pat Hartman of Bountiful, but Page picked up 267 votes in the county convention to Hartman's 29, eliminating Hartman from the race.
The races that sparked the most opposition were for county treasurer, sheriff and the new combined office of clerk-auditor.
The sheriff's race pitted incumbent Harry Jones, appointed two years ago when former sheriff Brant Johnson took a job in the state Department of Public Safety, against Riverdale, Weber County, police chief Glenn Clary.
Clary, a Layton resident, challenged Johnson four years ago but lost in a bitter primary campaign fight. He filed again this year to challenge Johnson's successor and former chief deputy.
Although he narrowly missed knocking Clary out in last May's convention, Jones saw his lead erode over the summer and was in turn defeated by Clary in the September primary by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin.
Four candidates, all Republicans, filed for the county treasurer's post being vacated by retiring treasurer Pauline McBride. Two candidates, Paul R. Cook and Jerry L. Wilson, were eliminated in the spring convention.
The remaining two, Mark Altom and Michael D. Porter, went into the primary and Porter picked up the nomination with 53 percent to 47 percent.
The race for the new office of clerk-auditor, which combines the current county clerk and county auditor's post into a single job as of January, pitted incumbent county clerk Margene Isom against incumbent auditor Ruth Kennington and political newcomer James Rush-forth.
Rushforth and Isom eliminated Kennington in the May convention. In the September primary, Isom soundly defeated Rushforth 59 percent to 41 percent.
Davis County's Democrats fielded only a single candidate in countywide races, party chairman J. Dell Holbrook, who is running for a county commission seat.
The party has three candidates in legislative races in the county, for a total of four candidates. That is matched by four Libertarian Party candidates, and the American Party is close behind, with three.