Immediately after Inauguration Day, the Cache County Republican Party will be launching a special election for the second time in five months — the third within two years.
With just under two years left in his term, Cache County Executive Craig Buttars’s last day in office is Monday. He’s been picked by Gov.-elect Spencer Cox to helm the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
Though he’d wished to avoid a trend of special elections, Cache GOP Chair Chris Booth said this time is under better circumstances and joked "the third time's the charm."
“I think it’s good Cache County will have a voice on the state level, so to speak,” Booth said. “I think it’s great we’ll have someone from here, with his experience, his expertise spending his life as a dairy farmer. And he’s been in state legislative, he’s been on the county council, and he’s been the executive for the last several years.”
Tuesday marks the beginning of the 10-day filing period for those wishing to be considered for the remaining two years of Buttars’ tenure before the party’s County Central Committee and area delegates will vote on the next executive.
Filing for candidacy will close at 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. Members of the CCC will meet at the Cache County Event Center on Jan. 30 to cast their votes. As required by county bylaws, the Cache County Council will then have five days to appoint whoever wins the election.
Cache County Attorney James Swink said the high-ranking position is expected to draw a variety of applicants — potentially including some senior positions within the county.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he told The Herald Journal after news broke of Buttars’s pending resignation.
In the September special election to fill the Cache County Clerk/Auditor role in which Jess Bradfield was appointed to replace Jill Zollinger, 171 ballots were cast out of the 300 members of the committee.
Booth said because more people will be eligible to vote, by default, the turnout in January will be even greater.
“There are 500 area delegates, though there is some crossover" with members of the CCC, Booth said. “There’s the potential of having 700-800 people come out.”
More information on filing will be available on the party website, cachegop.com, after 5 p.m. on Monday. The names of those who file for candidacy will be released when their filings have been made official.