For other Davis County races, see Page A12An upset rippled through Davis County, mirroring the rest of Utah, with Republicans jumping ship to elect county Democratic Party Chairman J. Dell Holbrook to the County Commission.
Holbrook's win over Republican Ed Snow ends a three-decade hold on the commission by the Republicans.Former Kaysville Mayor Jerry Purdy also won a seat on the commission, defeating Libertarian Party Chairman Larry Livingston.
Holbrook took an early, although small, lead over Snow and never relinquished it as the final returns were counted at midnight. His lead varied through the night, as high as 55 percent and at one point dropping to 51 percent.
The complete but unofficial figures are 23,073, or 52 percent, for Holbrook, to 21,547, or 48 percent, for Snow.
In the Purdy vs. Livingston race, the Libertarian candidate picked up 25 percent of the vote, part of a strong showing by the Libertarian Party in several Davis County races. Livingston at one time had 29 percent of the votes, settling back to the final tally of 25 percent.
Purdy totaled an unofficial 28,603 votes to Livingston's 9,648.
"A message was sent tonight in Davis County, as well as across the state," said Holbrook. "People are tired of negative campaigns as well as unresponsive politicians."
Holbrook, who noted his father, a Republican, ran unsuccessfully for the same seat 38 years ago, said he's looking forward to working with Purdy and Commission Chairman Gayle Stevenson, who has two years left on his term.
"This is a great county and we're ready to do some great things here," Holbrook said.
Purdy thanked his supporters, both in and out of the GOP, and said he is gratified at the wide margin of support. He, too, said he's looking forward to working with Holbrook and Stevenson, his longtime friend and fellow retired educator.
"It's good to see we're going ahead on a positive vein. It's time to get going in the county," Purdy said.
Snow said he was disappointed in his loss, although he predicted a tight race against Holbrook. Instead of enjoying the traditional widespread GOP support, several well-known Republicans, including Snow's primary opponent Jack Bangerter, jumped ship and publicly endorsed Holbrook.
"I congratulate Mr. Holbrook. He ran a good and smart campaign and I wish him the best as a county commissioner," Snow said.
"I don't feel bad about the results. I worked hard on my race. But there were some strange things happening out there, and I think I was partly a victim of things beyond my control," Snow said.
"It wasn't the best of nights for candidates in Davis County."