2012 elections review: Six incumbents fall in Utah legislative primaries

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June 27, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

Yesterday, voters in Utah went to the polls to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries. Things were quiet on the Congressional side, as party caucuses already selected most nominees earlier this Spring. The party caucuses did not lead to quiet outcomes on the state legislative front, however. One incumbent state senator was defeated, and five incumbent state representatives fell to primary challenges.

Contested Primaries in Utah -- June 26, 2012
U.S. House
(4 seats)
State Legislature
(91 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 1 (25%) 2 (2.2%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 0 (0%) 14 (15.4%)


U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Utah, 2012

The state Democratic caucus in April had already selected Scott Howell, and the Republican caucus narrowed down the choices for their nominee to incumbent Orrin Hatch and former state Senator Dan Liljenquist. Politico listed it one of the top five primary battles this summer,[1] and an outside group spent almost $1 million to defeat Hatch in the primary.[2] Hatch, however, spent $10 million and received endorsements from big-name Republicans,[1] and wound up winning handily with two-thirds of the vote.[3]

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Utah, 2012

The only nomination undecided by party caucuses was the Democratic choice for the 1st District. Political newcomers Donna McAleer and Ryan Combe went into the primary, and Army veteran McAleer won with 67% of the vote.[4] She will take on Republican incumbent Rob Bishop in the general election.

Members of the U.S. House from Utah -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 1 1
     Republican Party 2 3
Total 3 4

State legislature


Two Senate incumbents faced a primary challenge. Both faced opponents who are currently serving in the State House. One incumbent successfully fended off the challenge, and the other lost the primary.[5]

Republican Party District 24: Incumbent Ralph Okerlund, who first assumed office in 2009, defeated House incumbent Patrick Painter, who has served in the House since 2005.
Republican Party District 28: Incumbent Casey Anderson, who first assumed office in 2011, was defeated by House incumbent Evan Vickers, who first entered the House in 2009.

The party conventions resulted in only other contested State Senate primary. This contest, on the Democratic side, had no incumbent.

Democratic Party District 8: Josie Valdez defeated Ty McCartney to win the Democratic party nod for this seat.


In the House, 8 incumbents faced a primary challenge after the party conventions. Two incumbents faced each other in District 29. Five incumbents were defeated in Tuesday's primary.[6]

Incumbent Survived

Republican Party District 16: Republican incumbent Stephen Handy, who first assumed office in 2010, defeated second-time candidate Chris Crowder.[7]
Republican Party District 21: Republican incumbent Douglas Sagers, who first assumed office in 2011, defeated Alison McCoy.
Republican Party District 48: District 58 Republican incumbent Keven Stratton, who first assumed office in 2012, defeated challenger Taz Murray in the primary.

Incumbent Defeated

Republican Party District 4: Republican incumbent David G Butterfield, who first assumed office in 2010, was defeated by former Bear River Health Department deputy director Edward Redd.[8]
Republican Party District 29: District 6 Republican incumbent Brad J Galvez, who first assumed office in 2011, was defeated by District 2 Republican incumbent Lee B. Perry, who also first entered the House in 2011, for this redistricted seat.
Democratic Party District 33: Democratic incumbent Neal Hendrickson, who first assumed office in 1991, was defeated by challenger Liz Muniz.
Republican Party District 60: Republican incumbent Bradley Daw, who first assumed office in 2005, was defeated by challenger Dana Layton.
Republican Party District 68: Republican incumbent Bill Wright, who first assumed office in 2009, was defeated by attorney and former legislator Merril Nelson.[9]

Utah State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 7 5
     Republican Party 22 24
Total 29 29

Utah House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 17 14
     Republican Party 58 61
Total 75 75

See also

Ballotpedia News

External links