Recent controversy involving Davis County Republican officeholders was apparently enough to sway delegate voting at Saturday night's county party convention as two incumbent commissioners were forced into September primary contests.
Harold J. Tippetts, seeking a third term on the commission, was forced into a primary runoff by former Democratic Sheriff William "Dub" Lawrence, who switched parties this year and filed for the two-year commission seat. Tippetts managed just 54 percent of the delegate vote, well below the 70 percent needed to advance directly to the November ballot as the party nominee.Any candidate receiving 70 percent of the delegate vote or more automatically becomes the party nominee. When no candidate receives 70 percent, the top two vote-getters advance to the Sept. 13 primary.
Likewise, Commissioner Glen E. Saunders, who originally filed for the four-year commission post but has since switched to the county clerk's race, also failed to reach the 70 percent plateau. Saunders received 54 percent of the vote, but will face a runoff with Margaret Isom. Saunders' switch to the clerk contest following the resignation of Michael Allphin, who is taking a state court post, raised cries of foul from Democrats and tax protest groups who said the move was plotted to keep other candidates from filing for the commission post.
Both Saunders and Allphin have denied the conspiracy claim and have provided information showing that Allphin did not know of his appointment until the week following the close of candidate filings. Apparently, delegates were not totally convinced, however.
Ironically, Gayle A. Stevenson, who filed against Saunders in the four-year race, was able to advance directly to the November ballot with 81 percent of the delegate vote against challenger Merle Hildreth.
Saunders, who has been nominated as a possible immediate replacement for Allphin, said he will weigh his options carefully before deciding whether to continue as a candidate for the interim appointment, which would run through the end of 1988. To do so would require his resignation from the commission.
Incumbent candidates for legislative posts also found the going tough. One incumbent representative, Henry Dickamore, South Weber, was eliminated in District 15 by challenger Don E. Bush, who won more than 70 percent. Incumbent Rep. Walt Bain, Farmington, barely eluded elimination in District 17 with 39 percent, setting up a primary contest with Don S. Redd, a Farmington councilman.
Also facing a September primary will be incumbent Scott W. Holt, Syracuse, in District 14. Holt ran second in the delegate vote to DeeAnn Fisher who captured 52 percent of the vote. Holt is seeking a third term in the Legislature.
In District 20, where incumbent Jack Redd, Bountiful, opted to try for the state Senate instead of another term in the House, Nancy Lyon led the balloting. However, she too will face a primary, against former Davis County Attorney Loren D. Martin.
Redd stayed alive in his effort to advance to the Senate, although he will have to win a primary election to do so. He ran second in the balloting to Lane Beattie for the Senate District 23 seat being vacated by retiring Jack Bangerter. The seat represents the south Davis area.