Key legislative races on the November ballot:


- In central Salt Lake County, incumbent Rep. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake, is running for the Senate seat being vacated by long-time Sen. Blaze Wharton, also a Democrat. The seat, which includes much of Murray, is considered a swing district and has long been a GOP target. Fred W. Jones is the Republican candidate, but he must overcome Davis' name recognition.

- In Tooele County, former GOP Rep. Merrill Nelson is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. George Mantes, a Democrat. Tooele County has always been considered a Democratic district, but Nelson pulled an upset there years ago in a House race, and he is looking for lightning to strike twice in his bid for the Senate. The Democratic candidate is Ron Allen.

- In Davis County, controversial Sen. Craig Taylor, R-Kaysville, chose not to run for re-election, leaving the seat open to challengers Terry Spencer, a Republican from Layton, and Gregory Sanders, a Democrat from Kaysville. Taylor's conservative politics and moral crusades rankled moderates, including many members of the Senate. The district has been Republican for the past five decades, giving Spencer the edge.


- District 30 in the central part of the Salt Lake Valley has been considered a safe Democratic seat. If that holds true in November and Democrat Jackie Biskupski is elected, the Utah Legislature would then seat its first openly gay member. She will face Republican primary winner Bryan J. Irving and Independent American candidate Marc Meals.

- In neighboring District 31, Republicans have long coveted the seat held by Rep. Mary Carlson, D-Salt Lake. This time, the Republicans have put up Verdi White II as their candidate. White is better known as the official spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

- In Box Elder, Ben C. Ferry of Corinne is the Republican candidate for the District 2 seat. Ferry, the son of former Senate President Miles "Cap" Ferry, should win in this Republican district, but look for things to get dicey on Capitol Hill if he does. Both his father and his mother, Sue Ferry, are well-heeled lobbyists with considerable influence.

- In Ogden, LaWanna "Lou" Shurtliff narrowly lost a race for the state Senate four years ago. Now she is running for the House against political newcomer Bill Turner, which should give Shurtliff an advantage. The seat has been held by retiring Rep. Pat Larson, a Democrat from Ogden.

- Rep. Afton Bradshaw remains the only Republican with a district entirely within Salt Lake City. Every two years, the Democrats say they can win the seat in House District 28, and every two years they lose. This time, the challenger is Bruce G. Cohne.

- In West Jordan, Democrat Mary Hammond has lost two races for the state Senate, but in both races she won a majority of votes in House District 43. This time she is running for the District 43 seat against incumbent Rep. Wayne A. Harper, R-West Jordan.