Daggett County will have an opening for a new county attorney soon.
Four out of five voters elected to dump embattled County Attorney Wayne Searle during Tuesday's general election.Searle had petitioned the Utah Supreme Court for the right to run as a write-in candidate, but the court ruled he would have to be listed on the ballot with a "yes" or "no" question.
Eighty percent of those voters responded with "no."
Had Searle been allowed to run as a write-in, he would technically have needed only one vote to win, since he would have been the only candidate.
Nearly half of the county's voters earlier signed a recall petition against Searle. The no-retention vote - 337 nos and 85 yeses - means a new attorney can be hired.
The court's opinion stated that "if there is only one candidate for county attorney in a county with three or fewer electors who are eligible to fill that office, the name of that one candidate must appear on the ballot with the `yes' or `no' question."
Daggett County wasn't the only county where voters decided to get a new county attorney. Grand County residents also voted to release their county attorney.
Voters by a 60-40 percent elected not to retain Elaine M. Coates.
County commission races dominated the ballots in county elections this year.
Statewide, Republicans and Democrats sometimes changed places, but the overall numbers didn't change significantly.
Prior to the election, Democrats held 32 commission seats and Republicans held 59. Post-election numbers are 27 for Democrats, 64 for Republicans and one seat is held by an independent candidate (in Summit County).
Several counties are still dominated by one party. Carbon and Morgan Counties are the only ones with all-Democrat commissions. Republicans fare better, with commission strongholds in Garfield, Kane, Millard, Rich, Sanpete, Sevier, Uintah, Utah and Washington counties.
In Tooele County, longtime state Sen. Karl G. Swan lost in his bid for County Commission Seat B. Swan, a high school teacher, had hoped to retire early from education and the Senate to devote himself full time to the County Commission, if elected.
Instead, 62 percent of the voters threw their support to Republican incumbent Leland J. Hogan.
One of the most closely-contested races occurred in Summit County, where 10 votes separated the winner of a three-man race from his nearest opponent.
Independent Gene Moser edged out Democrat R. Gary McCormick, 1,893 to 1,883. GOP candidate David Ure was not far behind with 1,617.
While commission race results were an interesting mix of Republicans and Democrats, incumbents and challengers, there were few surprises in most of the other county-level races, where a number of candidates were unopposed.
The race was close for candidates for one seat on the Cache County Council. A mere 20 votes separated Chris S. Coray, a Democrat who received 1,444 votes, and Beth L. Hendricks with 1,424.
Here are election highlights from counties around the state. All results are considered final, but unofficial:
BEAVER - Republicans captured the commission races. It was no surprise for Ross Marshall, an incumbent who ran unopposed and got 100 percent of the vote.
But Republican Gary E. Sullivan defeated Democratic incumbent Bryan Sherwood in the battle for Seat B, 927 to 731.
BOX ELDER - The only contested races in Box Elder County were for sheriff and commission Seat B.
Incumbent Republican Sheriff Robert E. (Bob) Limb, 50, won his fourth term in office. Limb has been in law enforcement for 29 years.
He defeated Thomas B. Sneddon, a Democrat who has worked in law enforcement for 32 years. Sneddon had criticized the sheriff's office because it lacked juvenile programs.
In the race for County Commission Seat B, James J. White, a Democrat, was successful in his bid for re-election. He opposed GOP Rulon L. Smoot and Independent Chris V. Forsgren. White is a Garland blacksmith.
Commission Seat A's position was decided in the primary, when Republican Allen L. Jensen defeated incumbent Republican Robert Valentine. No one from another party filed for the position.
CACHE - Candidates for Cache County Council stressed unification between county and municipal governments. When the debating was done, Republican Seth Allen easily won the county executive position, earning 63 percent of the vote to Democrat Blake M. Petersen's 37 percent.
Newly-elected county council members are Coray, a Democrat who defeated Hendricks; and Democrat Stuart W. Howell, with 55 percent of the vote to defeat GOP E.J. (Jack) Nixon. In the southeast district, Republican Larry Anhder defeated Joe Morse, 1,330 to 1,064.
CARBON - Bill Krompel, Democratic incumbent, successfully defended his commission seat, gaining 68 percent of the vote. He said he would influence water policy, especially in the agricultural area. His opponent, Charles Wm. Bezyack, gained 32 percent of the vote. Bezyack said he wanted an end to the one-party system in this Democrat stronghold.
Candidates for the other county offices were unopposed, including Democrat John M. Garr, a former state legislator, for county commissioner-surveyor.
DAGGETT - The Republicans carried the day in County Commission races. Bruce N. Christensen defeated Democrat Florence M.C. Murphy and independent Joe Wahlquist. Incumbent Republican Elbert "Punky" Steinaker was unopposed in his bid to reclaim Seat B.
Sheriff Gaylen Jarvie, GOP incumbent, handily defeated challenger Kelly R. Wilde, a Democrat. Jarvie got 69 percent of the vote.
DAVIS - A Democrat upset the more than 30-year Republican lock on county government in Davis County, as party chairman J. Dell Holbrook defeated GOP nominee Ed Snow by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin for a seat on the County Commission.
But in the races for seven other county offices, from county attorney to surveyor, the incumbent Republicans ran with no opposition.
For the other four-year commission seat, Jerry Purdy, former Kaysville mayor and councilman, defeated Larry Livingston, the county Libertarian Party chairman, 75 percent to 25 percent. Holbrook and Purdy will join incumbent Commissioner Gayle Stevenson, also a Republican.
DUCHESNE - Six votes separated candidates for sheriff in Duchesne County. Rick Harrison narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Clair M. Poulson, 1,708 to 1,702 in unofficial counts.
Harrison called for a reorganization of the sheriff's department "to ensure efficient use of tax dollars and avoid wasteful practices."
In the county commission race, where much of the political debate centered around jurisdiction between Duchesne County and the Uintah-Ouray Indian tribe, both a Republican and a Democrat were elected in close contests.
B. Curtis Dastrup gained 51 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat challenger Charles "Smiley" Denver in the race for Seat A. Seat B went to Democrat Rick Reynolds, who defeated Republican Gene Ostler, 51 percent to 49 percent.
EMERY - Fewer than 90 votes separated candidates for sheriff, but incumbent Democrat LaMar E. Guymon reclaimed his position. Guymon, who received 1,895 votes, was challenged by Steve Stream, who captured 1,811 votes for his write-in candidacy.
Both commission races were also close contests, but ultimately, the incumbent Democrats lost to their challengers. Republican Dixie K. Thompson defeated incumbent Duane L. Collard, 51 percent to 49 percent, and incumbent Jerry D. Mangum fell to his opponent, Mark T. Justice, by the same percentage margin.
GARFIELD - There were no surprises in Garfield County, where virtually every candidate was unopposed.
GRAND - Republicans took both County Commission seats. Campaign differences centered around spending, including what expenditures are appropriate in an economy that is making a transition from mining to tourist and recreation.
Incumbent David Knutson defeated Democrat David L. Bierschied, 1,603 to 1,058. For seat B, Manuel T. Torres took 61 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Craig Bigler.
There were few surprises in other county races, where most candidates were unopposed. But voters did choose not to retain County Attorney Elaine M. Coates, with 60 percent voting "no" to her retention.
IRON - Voters split the County Commission races between Republicans and Democrats, returning GOP James C. Robinson, who was unopposed. In the race for the other commission seat, Democrat Roy P. "Pug" Urie took 55 percent of the vote against GOP opponent Richard H. Messer.
Urie, 70, served on the Cedar City Council in the mid-60s and is active on the Iron County Planning and Zoning Commission. Messer, 52, is the operator of Messer Upholstery.
Sheriff Ira Schoppmann, Republican, had a landslide victory against Joseph C. Cwik. Schoppmann earned 75 percent of the vote.
JUAB - Incumbent Democrat Joseph A. Bernini easily maintained his seat on the County Commission, defeating GOP challenger Michael R. Keith. Bernini, who called for more economic development without more regulations, captured 65 percent of the vote.
Republican Jay Morris (Ike) Lunt more narrowly defeated Democrat Vard I. White for Commission Seat B, 1,169 to 1,115. Economic development was a primary issue to Lunt, as well.
Incumbent Democrat Sheriff David H. Carter's victory was more decisive, a landslide victory against GOP Todd A. Bainter, gaining 89 percent of the vote.
KANE - It was a good day for the Republicans running for County Commission, as they won with tidy margins of victory.
Raymond E. Lopeman captured 71 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Jess Johnson for Seat A.
In the Seat B race, C. Glen Martin took 64 percent of the vote against Democrat opponent R.N. Dick Cates.
MILLARD - The first woman to seek a commission post in Millard County vaulted a high political hurdle to victory. Republican Lana R. Moon defeated James J. DeWyze, with 68 percent of the vote.
GOP incumbent C. Frank Baker returns to his commission seat after defeating Democrat challenger Warren H. Peterson, 1,923 to 1,683. Baker has described himself as a "middle-of-the-road" guy, "a little bit modern and a little bit old-fashioned."
RICH - Republican incumbents reclaimed their commission seats in Tuesday's election. Dee Johnson received 75 percent of the vote against challenger Theron Weston in the race for Seat A. Bill Cox, who received 51 percent of the vote, will return to Seat B, despite a closer race against Democrat Blair R. Francis.
SAN JUAN - Incumbent County Commissioner Mark Maryboy was the only Indian and the only Democrat elected, despite a massive voter-resigration drive (see page B1.) Republican Bill Redd was re-elected to the commission without opposition. Republican incumbents serving as assessor, clerk-auditor, recorder, sheriff and treasurer defeated Indian challengers.
SANPETE - Two veteran lawmen, both Republicans, battled for sheriff. But incumbent Sheriff Wallace S. Buchanan easily gained a second term over Chuck Ramsey, a Fairview police officer who had filed as an independent candidate for the office. Buchanan got 71 percent of the votes.
Incumbent Republican J. Keller Christenson took 60 percent of the
vote to retain his commission seat, defeating Democrat Dean W. Anderson, who called for a Democratic watchdog on what "for too long" has been a Republican commission. Both candidates were farmers and livestock operators until their retirements.
Seat B's incumbent Republican Leonard M. Blackham was unopposed.
SEVIER - There were no Democrats running for office in Sevier County in 1990. In fact, there was no opposition to the Republican slate, which slipped into office with little fanfare.
Elected to the County Commission were T. Merlin Ashman, incumbent, and Gene Mendenhall.
SUMMIT - A tight three-man race for Commission Seat B resulted in a victory by 10 votes, according to the final, but unofficial results.
Independent Gene Moser edged out Democrat R. Gary McCormick, 1,893 to 1,883. Republican David Ure was not far behind with 1,617. The candidates were concerned with controlling taxes and promoting controlled growth.
Challenger Ron Perry, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Franklin D. Richards for Seat A. Perry is Summit County auditor and served two years as a commissioner.
TOOELE - Incumbents found that you win some, you lose some in commission races.
Incumbent Democrat Kelly H. Gubler was defeated by GOP challenger Teryl Hunsaker, who received 67 percent of the vote.
The story was reversed for Seat B, where incumbent Republican Leland J. Hogan easily defeated Democrat challenger Karl G. Swan. Swan received 2,784 votes to Hogan's 4,585.
All four candidates found keen voter interest on the issue of Tooele County's hospital and medical-care establishments that have hospital/health district subsidies. Staff physicians have been few and far between in the county.
This election was different, too, because for the first time Tooele County is using electronic punch-card ballots.
UINTAH - Recreation was a hot issue in County Commission races, where Republicans emerged triumphant Tuesday. Lorin F. Merrell, an automobile salesman, defeated Democrat Dan Thacker, manager of the Ponderosa Feed and Tack, with 51 percent of the vote.
Max D. Adams, former mayor of Cedar Hills in Utah County, captured 42 percent of the vote to beat Democrat Wayne Hall, a welding contractor (35 percent) and Leo Snow, in independent candidate who got 23 percent.
Democrat Harry H. Souvall was elected county attorney, soundly defeating Alan M. Williams, his Republican opponent. Lloyd D. Meacham is the sheriff, with 47 percent. The Republican defeated Steve Hatzidakis and Drew Christiansen.
UTAH - Republican incumbents Malcolm Beck and Gary Herbert were re-elected to their County Commission seats and their Republican running mate, Richard Johnson, was elected to the seat being vacated by Sid Sandberg.
Beck defeated Independent challenger Wayne Hill in the most heated race to return to office for his second term. Herbert, who replaced Brent Morris on the commission when he resigned in June, defeated Democrat George Tripp to earn his first full term in office.
Johnson, a member of the Nebo School Board, defeated Marie Van Wagenen to bring representation from south Utah County back to the commission.
WASATCH - Incumbent Sheriff Edwin Thacker, a Democrat, will be replaced by his Republican opponent, Mike Spanos, who took 55 percent of the vote. Spanos has served in the sheriff's department for eight years.
Incumbents easily retained their County Commission seats. Democrat Pete A. Coleman captured 68 percent of the vote to defeat Charles L. Maynard, Republican. For Seat B, J. Moroni Besendorfer won an easy victory from Democrat Vern C. Thacker, 64 percent to 36 percent.
WASHINGTON - There won't be any new faces on the County Commission in the near future.
Incumbent Gayle M. Aldred, a Republican, defeated challenger Frederick H. Esch in a landslide, gaining more than three-fourths of the vote. Aldred said his main objective as a commissioner has been to advocate for fiscal responsibility.
Incumbent Commissioner Jerry B. Lewis, a Republican, will retain the seat he has held for 13 years. He has been commission chairman for the past nine years. Lewis defeated Democrat Benedict F. Guerin.
WAYNE - Incumbents ran for County Commission with mixed results.
Democrat Stanley E. Alvey kept his seat against challenger Devon K. Nelson, a Republican.
But independent incumbent John Brinkerhoff was soundly defeated by Republican opponent C. Meeks Morrell. Morrell received 74 percent of the votes cast.
WEBER - Democrat challenger Randall J. Williford narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Commissioner William Bailey. It is Williford's first foray into public office.
Williford received 44 percent of the vote to Bailey's 42 percent. Independent candidate Danny L. Blaylock received 13 percent.
In the race for Seat B, Republican Joan D. Hellstrom handily defeated Democrat incumbent A. Stephen Dirks, former mayor of Ogden, 57 percent to 43 percent.
Sheriff George P. Fisher, a Democrat, was also unseated. His Republican challenger, Craig L. Dearden, captured 55 percent of the vote.