Incumbent Utah auditor defeated in primary; Swallow cruises to victory in GOP attorney general race

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June 27, 2012

By Ballotpedia's state executive team


In Utah, major party candidates are not necessarily nominated through a primary election. Each party holds a statewide convention during which the party delegates vote for candidates. If a candidate receives more than 60% of the delegate vote, they receive the party's nomination and no primary election is held. If no candidates receives the requisite 60% of the delegate vote, the top two finishers from the convention face off in the primary. Third party candidates are nominated via primary election. This year, only three primary races were held yesterday in Utah: the Constitution Party nominee for governor, the Republican nominee for attorney general and the Republican nominee for auditor.

Governor: Constitution Party

Three sets of candidates have already qualified for the general election; the Democratic and Republican parties selected their gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates during the statewide conventions, and only one set of Libertarian candidates filed to run.

After tonight's primary, one additional candidate was added to the field for November's general election: Kirk Pearson defeated Brandon Nay by more than 30 percentage points; he has yet to announce his running mate.[1]

Governor of Utah, Constitution Party Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKirk Pearson 66.6% 2,219
Brandon Nay 33.4% 1,114
Total Votes 3,333
Election Results via Utah Lieutenant Governor.

General election candidates:

Attorney General: Republican Party

Called "one of the dirtiest in years,"[2] the Republican primary race for Attorney General - between outgoing attorney general Mark Shurtleff's deputy chief John Swallow and star attorney Sean D. Reyes - was settled last night.

Name recognition and establishment clout helped make Swallow an early favorite for the Republican nomination, and he enjoyed a commanding lead in fundraising over Reyes as of the June 19 financial disclosure reports. He also spent about twice as much as Reyes, nearly $200,000, on the primary race.[3] Swallow earned a majority of the delegate vote at the Republican nominating convention, but failed to reach the 60% threshold necessary to avoid the primary ballot.[4]

In yesterday's primary election, Swallow easily defeated Reyes. He will meet two other candidates in November's general election: Weber County Attorney Dee W. Smith (D), who ran unopposed for his party's nomination, and perennial attorney general candidate, Libertarian W. Andrew McCullough.[5]

Attorney General of Utah, Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Swallow 68% 156,644
Sean D. Reyes 32% 73,868
Total Votes 230,512
Election Results via

General election candidates:

Auditor: Republican Party

See also: Utah down ballot state executive elections, 2012

After failing to secure his party's nomination at the state convention, incumbent Auston Johnson (R), who has held the office since July of 1995, fell to state Rep. John Dougall in yesterday's primary election. Dougall will go on to face Mark Sage, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination,[6] and Richard Proctor, who was unopposed for the Constitution Party nomination, in the general election.[1]

Utah Auditor, Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Dougall 53.9% 105,617
Auston Johnson 46.1% 90,317
Total Votes 195,934

General election candidates:

See also


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