Merrill Nelson

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Merrill Nelson
Merrill Nelson.jpg
Utah House of Representatives District 68
In office
January 1, 2013 - present
Term ends
December 31, 2016
Years in position 2
Base salary$273/day
Per diem$95/day (lodging)
$39/day (meals)
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Utah House of Representatives
1991 - 1992
Bachelor'sBrigham Young University, 1979
J.D.Brigham Young University, 1982
Date of birthJuly 16, 1955
Office website
Campaign website
Merrill F. Nelson is a Republican member of the Utah House of Representatives, representing District 68. He was first elected to the chamber in 1990, and was elected to the chamber again in 2012.


Nelson earned both his B.S. and his J.D. from Brigham Young University. His professional experience includes working as a lawyer.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Nelson served on the following committees:

Utah Committee Assignments, 2015
Government Operations
Judiciary, Vice-Chair


In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Nelson served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Nelson's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[1]

  • Education
Excerpt: "I want to be not only the "education candidate," but a strong voice for education in the Utah Legislature. Legislators should not be adversaries of educators. Neither should the Legislature act as a "super-school board" and dictate the education decisions of parents and local elected boards, teachers, and administrators."
  • Economic Development
Excerpt: "I favor free markets. Economic freedom goes hand-in-hand with political freedom. I will work to eliminate government regulations that inhibit free enterprise and economic growth. This includes federal regulations that shut down coal-fired electric plants, close public lands to mining and energy development, and place predators on grazing lands with livestock."
  • Healthcare
Excerpt: "Federal payments for healthcare merely drive up the cost of health care, just as federal loan guaranties inflated the housing market and the cost of higher education. Socialized medicine is breaking the federal budget and will break state budgets as well unless we push back."
  • Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: "My heart goes out to families in other countries racked by poverty, crime, and violence. I too would seek a better life in another country. However, immigration must be legal and ordered, and defiance of our laws cannot be ignored. We must stop illegal immigration and enforce the sanctity of our borders and our laws."
  • Second Amendment
Excerpt: "I fully support our constitutional right to bear arms."



See also: Utah House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Utah House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 24, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 20, 2014. Incumbent Merrill Nelson was unopposed in the Republican convention. Rett Rowley, an Independent American candidate, was disqualified from the general election ballot. Nelson was unopposed in the general election. Cindy Vincent (R) withdrew before the primary.[2]


See also: Utah House of Representatives elections, 2012

Nelson won election in the 2012 election for Utah House of Representatives District 68. He advanced past the Republican convention, defeated incumbent Bill Wright in the June 26 Republican primary, and defeated Thomas Nedreberg (D) and Paul McCollaum, Jr. (Constitution) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[3][4][5]

Utah House of Representatives, District 68, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMerrill Nelson 73.8% 9,831
     Democratic Thomas Nedreberg 19% 2,531
     Constitution Paul McCollaum, Jr. 7.2% 953
Total Votes 13,315
Utah House of Representatives District 68 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMerrill Nelson 52.3% 1,910
Bill Wright Incumbent 47.7% 1,744
Total Votes 3,654

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Nelson is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Nelson raised a total of $36,428 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 18, 2013.[6]

Merrill Nelson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Utah State House, District 68 Won $23,001
1998 Utah State Senate, District 13 Defeated $13,427
Grand Total Raised $36,428


Nelson won election to the Utah House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $23,001.


Nelson lost the election for the Utah State Senate in 1998. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $13,427.


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Utah

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Utah scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the 60th Utah State Legislature, first year, was in session from January 28 to March 14. In 2014, the 60th Utah State Legislature, second year, was in session from January 27 to March 14.

  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on legislation related to women’s health, access to reproductive health care and education.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills picked by Sutherland that promote conservative policy.
  • Legislators are scored based on the issue of education.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes relating to environmental and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on taxpayer related bills.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to Common Core reforms.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes in relation to the organization's "mission to defend individual liberty, private property and free enterprise."

The Libertas Institute Index

See also: The 2013 Libertas Institute Legislative Index

The Libertas Institute is a libertarian-leaning think tank located in Utah.[7] Each year the organization releases a Legislative Index for Utah State Representatives and Senators.


Merrill Nelson received an index rating of 48%.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Wright (R)
Utah House of Representatives District 68
Succeeded by