After watching hours of candidates’ convention speeches and a multi-day voting setup, state GOP delegates voted to take incumbent Rep. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, to the primaries and slimmed down the race for Utah’s 1st Congressional District.
In online voting on Saturday, Hillyard received 57 percent of the votes cast in Senate District 25, while challenger Chris Wilson, a political newcomer, won 42 percent of the delegate votes.
Hillyard narrowly missed the 60 percent threshold needed to become the Republican party’s nomination for the November general election, and instead he will face Wilson in the GOP state primary on June 30.
“I was pleased with the results, it was a good win,” Hillyard said. “The only frustrating thing was not being able to meet with the delegates. I really enjoyed that part of it, but it is just not the same over the phone. Now, I just keep working. It will be busy over the next few months.”
The 40-year incumbent ran unopposed in 2016 and has lengthy experience with education, taxes and the political landscape in the legislature, which can be a big draw for some people. Others, as Wilson suggested when he announced his candidacy, are looking for a change.
“I feel privileged to be selected to continue my campaign to bring people a choice,” Wilson said. “From all the feedback we had received from delegates, we felt hopeful and fairly confident that we would make it to the primaries, but being the underdog has been an interesting role to play. The people who are really involved in politics really know what a great feat this really is.”
The Senate District 25 race is brought to the state convention because the district includes parts of both Cache and Rich counties.
The same is true for State House District 1, where Rep. Joel Ferry ran unopposed and is the Republican nominee heading into the general election.
GOP delegates trimmed the field in the 1st Congressional District, where a dozen Republicans hoped to take Rep. Rob Bishop’s seat as he shifts his focus to Utah’s gubernatorial race as former GOP Chairman Thomas Wright’s running mate.
Former state lawmaker Kerry Gibson and former U.S. Foreign Service officer Blake David Moore were both selected by delegates to join Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt and Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson on the primary ballot.
The eliminated candidates were Tina Cannon, Doug Durbano, Howard Wallack, Mark Shepherd, Chadwick Fairbanks III, Zack Hartman, JC DeYoung and Catherine Brenchley Hammon.
On the Democrat side of the congressional race, delegates at the party’s first-ever virtual gathering split their votes between candidates Jamie Cheek of Ogden and Darren Parry of Logan.
Parry received 56 percent of over 2,200 delegates’ votes compared to 44 percent for Cheek, sending both to the primary election in June.