Reed and Pomeroy appear to advance in Park City school board primary; state and federal races favor incumbents (updated)
There were primary elections in Summit and Wasatch counties to set the field for two local school board races and a handful of higher offices. In Park City, preliminary results show 29 votes to be the difference between a spot on the ballot and the end of the race. In South Summit, that margin was three.
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee is set to retain his seat, according to the Associated Press, as are the three other incumbents that were on the ballots in Summit and Wasatch counties for state and federal positions. But preliminary results on election day showed much less clarity in the Park City Board of Education race.
Mandy Pomeroy, Josh Mann and Meredith Reed are vying for the District 4 seat on the Park City Board of Education, which represents Jeremy Ranch and Silver Creek. Only two candidates will be on the ballot in November.
The first batch of results released by Summit County showed Reed in the lead and Pomeroy edging out Mann by six votes for the other spot on the ballot. But a 10 p.m. update showed Pomeroy stretching that lead to 29 votes.
According to preliminary results, Reed (with 454 votes) holds a 27-vote lead over Pomeroy (427 votes) and a 56-vote lead over Mann (398).
Summit County Clerk Eve Furse said the preliminary results do not include in-person votes, provisional ballots, ballots deposited in drop boxes after 2 p.m. Tuesday and mail-in ballots that arrive after Tuesday but have a valid postmark. She expected to release updated counts Wednesday afternoon.
Preliminary results show a 38% voter turnout.
Reed noted that the results are unofficial, but said she was pleased to apparently continue on to the general election.
“Throughout the remainder of the campaign, I will continue to advocate for accountability to voters, open meetings, and be a staunch supporter of our educators, staff, and students,” Reed said.
Pomeroy, who is serving as an interim board member, said she was looking forward to the November election.
“I am just thrilled beyond measure to move into the General Election, and look forward to being elected to the Park City School Board and serving district 4 in the most positive and prolific way I can,” Pomeroy said.
Mann remarked on the narrow margin, and said the most important elections are local.
“If I don’t make it, I hope that at least I raised some issues that need to be discussed for the election in November,” he said.
In South Summit, the race was for Precinct 5, which includes areas outside of Kamas and Francis. Olivia Gunnerson won 167 of the 290 votes cast, seemingly securing her place on the general election ballot. Jerry Parker was second in the preliminary tally with 63 votes, but only 3 votes separated him and Troy Beckstead.
The results are not final until the Summit County Council acting as the Board of Canvassers accepts them during an official canvass within two weeks of the election.
According to state code, a candidate may file for a recount if the difference between the number of votes for a winning candidate and a losing candidate is equal to or less than 0.25% of the total number of votes cast. There were 1,279 votes released in the preliminary Park City results, which means a recount would require a margin of three votes, though that total may change.
For races with fewer than 400 total votes, like in South Summit, the margin for a recount is one vote.
Local school board races are nonpartisan, but for the state and federal races, the winner of the Republican primary often has a distinct electoral advantage. There were Republican primaries for four offices that represent Summit and Wasatch counties.
In the race for Utah House District 4, preliminary state results show incumbent Kera Birkeland leading challenger Raelene Blocker by 20 points. The margin was smaller in Summit County, with Birkeland ahead 56% to 44%.
In the race for U.S. Senate, the AP called the race for incumbent Sen. Mike Lee against challengers Becky Edwards and Ally Isom. Lee won 54% of the preliminary vote in Summit County, with Edwards coming in second at 38%. Preliminary state results show Lee with 62% of the statewide total.
For U.S. House District 1, incumbent Rep. Blake Moore won 58% of the vote in Summit County. Preliminary results compiled by the state show he won a similar percentage of the vote statewide, with challenger Andrew Badger winning about 26% of the vote and Tina Cannon securing 14%.
In U.S. House District 3, incumbent Rep. John Curtis won 73% of the vote in Summit County. Preliminary state results show a similar margin against challenger Christopher Herrod.
Wasatch County vote totals were not available as of 10:40 p.m. Tuesday evening. It was the only county in Utah that had not reported numbers to the state at that time, according to the state database.