The lieutenant governor's door slammed promptly at 5 p.m. Friday, setting on their paths hundreds of candidates who hope to become elected officials in November.
The filing deadline for statewide offices brought few surprises, certainly nothing to equal the announcement Wednesday that industrialist Jon Huntsman will not challenge Gov. Norm Bangerter for the Republican nomination. Bangerter now seems almost certain to square off against former Salt Lake Mayor Ted Wilson, a Democrat.An early promise of drama in the attorney general's race also fizzled with state Public Safety Commissioner John T. Nielsen's announcement he will not challenge Attorney General David L. Wilkinson on the Republican ticket. Wilkinson will face one of two Democrats L. Zane Gill or R. Paul Van Dam, whichever emerges as the party's nominee.
However, the last-minute filing of South Salt Lake Mayor James Davis on the Democratic ticket was unexpected. Davis, who previously was mentioned as a possible challenger to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, will make a run against Republican incumbent state auditor Tom L. Allen.
At the legislative level, Friday's filing deadline included several surprises.
Former Democratic legislator Samuel S. Taylor has filed to regain the House District 29 seat he held for 16 years before losing it to fellow Democrat Jay Fawson in 1986. Fawson is seeking re-election.
Former state Sen. Brent Overson will try to reclaim his seat from incumbent Republican Steve Rees. Ironically, Rees was named by Gov. Norm Bangerter to fill Overson's seat after Overson resigned following an unsuccessful bid to unseat Salt Lake County Treasurer Art Monson, a Democrat.
Another veteran, former state Rep. Cal Black, currently a San Juan County commissioner, will challenge popular Democratic Sen. Omar Bunnell of Price.
Former Sandy Mayor W. Paul Thompson also is seeking to renew his political career, by challenging incumbent H. Craig Moody, the state Republican chairman, in House District 43.
For the State Board of Education, one prospective candidate, T. Lee Burnham, Salt Lake City, was declared ineligible Friday by the lieutant governor's office after it was discovered he lives outside the district for which he filed.