A primary election was assured last week for both Democratic and Republican candidates seeking the County Commission seat held by incumbent Lois E. McArthur.

At the Democratic Party nominating convention on Friday, political newcomer Vicki Griffith forced a primary runoff by capturing 37 percent of the vote while McArthur collected 63 percent.That vote came after the party rules committee changed the percentage of delegate support needed to forestall a primary, dropping from the traditional 70 percent to a two-thirds majority.

Robert Swan, a former Tooele city mayor, ran unopposed for the party nomination for the other commission seat occupied by Republican incumbent Teryl Hunsaker.

And Democratic delegates picked David K. Cunningham to run against Republic incumbent Douglas Ahlstrom for the county attorney post. All other county offices are held by incumbent Democrats who are running unopposed.

At the Republican nominating convention on Saturday, Dennis Rockwell pulled 52 percent of the delegate vote to 48 percent for Brent "Husk" Crowther to ensure a Republican primary for the seat held by McArthur.

Hunsaker locked up the nomination for his own seat, however, by capturing 76 percent of the vote to turn away challenger Jeff Carter.

Jeff McNeill, the county GOP chairman who is seeking the House District 21 seat held by Republican incumbent James Gowans, avoided a primary contest with challenger Beverly Christensen by collecting 74 percent of the vote.

In addition, Allen Gardner was elected by acclamation to challenge Democratic incumbent Eli Anderson of Tremonton for his seat in House District 1. That district includes sections of both Tooele and Box Elder counties.

Republicans John Lodefink, Merrill Nelson, Jack Nielsen and Edward Watson all remain in the running for the state Senate seat being vacated by George Mantes, a Democrat who has served the past two years as Senate minority whip.

The eventual GOP contender for that race will be determined at the state convention May 9. That Senate district includes sections of both Salt Lake and Tooele counties.

The GOP rules committee also changed the percentage of delegate vote needed to forestall a primary, decreasing it from 70 per-cent to 65 percent.

This year's primary election is June 23.