Seven County Races In Summit County See No Republican Challengers

Nov 20, 2018

The State of Utah saw final county canvass results posted Tuesday afternoon. There was a blue wave in Summit County but there’s partially because there were no Republican candidates.

Residents of Summit County voted for seven county officials but of those seven races only one political party was represented. Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez says he’d like to see more participation.

“To run unopposed, and I’ll put this in a couple different segments. There’s quite a few of us that are unopposed, myself, the county attorney, the recorder, there’s two council members. I will say this very succinctly, I don’t think that’s right. As my own campaign, sure I’m happy that I’m running unopposed, but as a general rule having an election with that many people unopposed, I don’t think is good for our system. I personally just don’t think it is, and I’d like to see more people throw their hat in the ring.”

Martinez was re-elected as Summit County’s Sheriff. All in all, a county council seat, county attorney, auditor, clerk, and recorder/surveyor all ran unopposed. Summit County councilman Glenn Wright did see a late challenge in the form of a write-in campaign from Josh Mann. Wright says he appreciated the challenge.

“It’s good to have conversations on issues during a campaign. It forced me to get online, create a website, go out and knock on doors, speak at community events. It’s something that we should be doing every election. I salute Josh for filing as a write-in because it made me work a little harder.”

The President of Summit County Republican Women Hillary Jessup says that the lack of funds prevents the Republican party from running competitive races in Summit County.

“I’m very frustrated. We don’t have the representation because people just are not willing to come up and they don’t have the financial backing to do so. Very few people will use their own money to finance their own campaign.”

Jessup claims that the majority that Democrats hold in Summit County is not as large you would think.

“There’s one-third Republican, one-third Democrat, and one-third independent. So, it’s not Democratically controlled. If the Republicans and the independents were to get together and vote, then it could sway one way or another.”

Although races at the county level were uncompetitive Summit County did set a record for voter turnout in a midterm election. Over 20,000 residents, 80% of registered voters cast a ballot. Summit County Clerk Kent Jones credited that high turnout to mail-in ballots, same-day registration, and issues on the ballot that drove voters to the polls, such as the Treasure Hill Bond and State Propositions 2, 3 and 4.