Utah primary election brings possible shake-up in state Legislature, Utah County Attorney’s Office

Devon Arellano drops off his ballot outside of the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Twenty-three Utah state Senate and House primary races will determine many of the candidates for the Utah Legislature during the general election this November. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Preliminary voting results from Utah’s primary elections on Tuesday night showed a potential shake-up in the Utah Senate minority party as incumbents duked it out with challengers.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt — the subject of recent controversy amid an ongoing conflict with other county leaders — also appears to be potentially on his way out as his opponent Jeff Gray took an early 72-27% lead.

Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, and challenger Jen Plumb are separated less than two percentage points, with Kitchen leading 50.87-49.13%, making that Salt Lake County race one of the tightest of the primary elections so far.

Kitchen, one of the youngest and the only openly gay lawmaker in the state Legislature, has served in the Senate since 2018.

Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, a longtime lawmaker and minority caucus leader, appeared to be threatened with being ousted by challenger Nate Blouin, according to preliminary numbers that showed Blouin with nearly 73% of the vote. Davis has served in the Senate since 1999.

The 23 state Senate and House races on primary day will determine many of the candidates for the Utah Legislature during the general election this November.

The new voting boundaries, though not yet in effect until 2022, apply to this year’s elections. That means some voters found themselves in new districts. To view your district, visit the state Legislature’s website.

Two close races for positions on the Utah Board of Education in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties brought large turn-outs. Numerous other county leadership primary elections also took place on Tuesday.

Polls closed at 8 pm, and the results won’t be finalized until all ballots are counted. These are unofficial and incomplete results in legislative races and other races of note, but here’s who’s leading on the ballots in your area as of just before 11 pm Tuesday:

state senators

DISTRICT 5

Weber, Morgan counties

  • Ann Millner (R-inc.): 5,756, 59.49%
  • Doug Durbano (R): 3,920, 40.51%

DISTRICT 6

Davis County

  • Jerry Stevenson (R-inc.): 6,604, 62.48%
  • Betty Young (R): 3,966, 37.52%

DISTRICT 9

Salt Lake County

  • Derek Kitchen (D-inc.): 3,322, 50.87%
  • Jen Plumb (D): 3,208, 49.13%

DISTRICT 13

Salt Lake County

  • Gene Davis (D-inc): 1,155, 27.10%
  • Nate Blouin (D): 3,107, 72.90%

DISTRICT 14

Salt Lake County

  • Stephanie Pitcher (D-inc.): 4,333, 79.11%
  • Deondra Brown (D): 1,144, 20.89%

DISTRICT 23

Utah County

  • Keith Grover (R-inc.): 6,620, 70.66%
  • Brandon Beckham (R): 2,749, 29.34%

DISTRICT 28

Washington, Iron, Beaver, Millard and Juab counties

  • Evan Vickers (R-inc.): 10,952, 71.13%
  • Patrick Larson (R): 4,446, 28.87%

State representatives

DISTRICT 2

Cache County

  • Mike Petersen (R-inc.): 2,489, 52.62%
  • Val Potter (R): 2,241, 47.38%

DISTRICT 4

Summit, Morgan and Rich Counties

  • Kera Birkeland (R-inc.): 3,996, 60.55%
  • Raelene Blockers (R): 2,603, 39.45%

DISTRICT 8

Morgan and Weber counties

  • Jason Kyle (R): 2,578, 62.51%
  • Kimberly Cozzens (R): 1,546, 37.49%

DISTRICT 10

Weber County

  • Jill Kofford (R): 1,761, 57.34%
  • Lorraine Brown (R): 1,310, 42.66%

DISTRICT 11

Weber and Davis counties

  • Kelly Miles (R-inc.): 1,534, 38.6%
  • Katy Hall (R): 2,440, 61.4%

DISTRICT 18

Davis County

  • Alena Ericksen (R): 2,662, 39.25%
  • Paul Cutler (R): 4,058, 60.75%

DISTRICT 19

Davis County

  • Ray Ward (R-inc.): 4,549, 59.82%
  • Lyle Mason (R): 3,055, 40.18%

DISTRICT 20

Davis County

  • Melissa Garff Ballard (R-inc.): 3,303, 65.12%
  • Ronald Mortensen (R): 1,769, 34.88%

DISTRICT 29

Tooele, Millard and Juab counties

  • Bridger Bolinder (R): 3,145, 61.74%
  • Mark Huntsman (R): 1,949, 38.26%

DISTRICT 41

Salt Lake County

  • Steve Aste (R): 1,938, 41.48%
  • Wayne Gary Sandberg (R): 2,734, 58.52%

DISTRICT 45

Salt Lake County

  • Susan Pulsipher (R-inc.): 2,602, 63.09%
  • Rich Cunningham (R): 1,522, 36.91%

DISTRICT 46

Salt Lake County

  • Jeff Stenquist (R-inc.): 2,222, 53.91%
  • Carolyn Phippen (R): 1,900, 46.09%

DISTRICT 67

Duchesne, Carbon and Emery counties

  • Christin Watkins (R-inc.): 3,367, 53.27%
  • Tom Hansen (R): 2,954, 46.73%

DISTRICT 72

Washington County

  • Joseph Elison (R): 3,232, 49.73%
  • Willie Billings (R): 3,267, 50.27%

DISTRICT 73

Washington County

  • Nina Barnes (R): 2,041, 37.58%
  • Colin Jack (R): 3,390, 62.42%

DISTRICT 74

Washington County

  • Kristy Pike (R): 2,975, 38.09%
  • R Neil Walter (R): 4.836, 61.91%

State school board

DISTRICT 4

Davis, Weber counties

  • Melanie Mortensen (R): 13,199, 47.57%
  • Leann Wood (R): 14,547, 52.43%

DISTRICT 11

Salt Lake, Utah counties

  • Cindy Davis (R-inc.): 10,975, 54.22%
  • Kim Del Grosso (R): 9,268, 45.78%

Utah County Attorney

  • David Leavitt (R-inc), 14,970, 27.75%
  • Jeff Gray (R), 38,983, 72.25%

correction: Preliminary results for the District 9 state senate race between Jen Plumb and incumbent Derek Kitchen were reversed in an earlier version; Kitchen, not Plumb, was leading 51% to 49%.

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Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for KSL.com. A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.

Arianne Brown is a breaking news reporter for KSL.com. She also enjoys finding and sharing stories of everyday Utahns, a talent she developed over several years of freelance writing for various Utah news outlets.

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