Utah Rep. Lesser “cautiously optimistic”; Lee and Kyle look ahead after unofficial wins | News, Sports, Jobs

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From left, Utah Rep. Rosemary Lesser, Utah House District 8 prospect Jason Kyle, and Utah House District 16 prospect Trevor Lee.

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A voter fills out their ballot at the Weber County Fairgrounds in-person voting site in Ogden on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

Utah Representative Rosemary Lesser is not declaring victory in her bid for the District 10 Utah House seat, though she is cautiously optimistic.

“It is important that we wait and that every vote is counted,” she said on Wednesday. The position covers parts of Ogden, South Ogden, Riverdale and Washington Terrace, and Lesser led to the ballot after the counting of the first ballots on Tuesdayalthough there is still much to do.

Trevor Lee, en route to victory over incumbent Stephen Handy in the race for District 16 Utah House headquarters in the Layton area, looks forward to getting to work in the Utah Legislature and fighting for conservative values. The race was unusual in that it featured two Republicans, with the incumbent, Handy, vying as a write-in after losing to Lee at the Davis County Republican Party Convention last spring.

“I’m excited to work with the (Republican) caucus to get things done,” Lee said.

Jason Kyle, en route to victory in the race for District 8 Utah House headquarters, which covers the East Ogden Bench, Ogden Valley and part of North Ogden, said inflation must be front and center when lawmakers convene for the 2023 session early next year. “I think the main goal is to try to help Utahns live affordably. I think everyone is struggling with inflation, the high costs of everything,” he said, pointing to tax cuts as a possible way to solve the problem.

Voting ended on Tuesday in a slew of House and local races across Weber and Davis counties and beyond, and with the dust still settling, the various hopefuls alternately process the results, which have yet to be finalized, and chart their next steps.

“I think I’m going to soak it up a bit,” said Kyle, a Republican who will succeed incumbent Rep. Steve Waldrip, who did not seek reelection. Kyle of the Ogden Valley is on course to win the election for the first time after winning nearly 60% of the vote in the race against Democrat Monica Hall.

Lesser took a wait-and-see approach. The Democratic incumbent led Republican Jill Koford by a margin of 53.8% to 46.2%, according to early results released Tuesday night, but said Wednesday she wanted to wait for more counts before declaring the election over. . Both candidates are from Ogden.

“I’m relieved that we’re ahead at this point,” she said. Lesser is the only Democrat in Weber County’s legislative delegation — the only Democrat in the Utah House or Senate outside of Salt Lake County, in fact — and the District 10 race was the biggest legislative contest. most contested in the county.

In a post on their Facebook pageKoford, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, offered his thanks to his backers.

“I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support I’ve received from colleagues, family and friends, old and new – it’s easy to work really hard for something you believe in when you have so many people supporting and helping you along the way,” Koford wrote. “The result for me is a win, no matter what the numbers say. Representing the Weber GOP in this race was such an honor – THANK YOU!

Weber County Clerk/Auditor Ricky Hatch said Wednesday that 50,354 Weber County ballots were counted Tuesday, with about 27,000 more ballots to be processed. The next set of results is expected to be released on Thursday afternoon.

Tuesday’s numbers represent “a strong statistical sample of the total number of ballots,” Hatch said. But he noted that the District 6 Weber School Board race — the closest of any in Weber County — could swing when more votes are tallied. Incumbent Janis Christensen led with 3,522 votes, 50.2% of the total, compared to 3,494, or 49.8%, for challenger Heidi Gross.

“A few other races could theoretically rock, but it’s highly unlikely,” Hatch continued. “One thing to consider is that people who voted in person are more likely to lean Republican, so it’s possible that Republican candidates will gain some ground slightly. But since less than 5% of voters voted in person, that won’t have a big impact on the actual results.

Most Weber County voters, about 95% of them, mailed in their ballots or left them in drop boxes.

Lee, the District 16 prospect, had garnered 48.7% of the vote, according to preliminary numbers on Tuesday, while Handy received 35.8% support. Libertarian Brent Zimmerman is third with 15.5% of the vote.

After the election battle between the two District 16 GOPers turned acrimonious at times, Lee urged Handy, who served six terms there, to lend his support to the Republican Party in a bid to heal all wounds.

Handy, for his part, praised Lee.

“Hats off to Lee’s campaign and best wishes to him and his service,” he said. “The voters have spoken and I accept that.”

He said his candidacy was never meant to split the Republican Party. He was approached by voters after inflammatory remarks by Lee about the LGBTQ community came to light last spring, which spurred his unconventional written offering.

In Weber County, another newcomer is heading to Salt Lake City — Republican Katy Hall of South Ogden, the only hope in Tuesday’s ballot for the District 11 Utah House office. Hall defeated incumbent Rep. Kelly Miles last June, but without an opponent on Tuesday, she didn’t face the kind of general campaigning that others have.

“I can’t say that I have a specific program in there. I just want to represent common sense conservatism and I want to have really good communication with the people in our district,” Hall said. “I just want to have conversations with people, even if I don’t agree on everything.”

Representative Cal Musselman of West Haven, the representative for District 9 and a Republican, defeated Democrat Neil Hansen and Libertarian Jacob Johnson to win a third term.

Three other incumbent Utah House representatives serving Weber County went unchallenged on Tuesday and are getting new terms. They are Matt Gwynn in District 6, Ryan Wilcox in District 7 and Mike Schultz in District 12, all GOPers.


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