Utah Rep. Peterson becomes 4th Weber County lawmaker to forgo re-election

Saturday , March 10, 2018 - 5:00 AM

OGDEN — Utah Rep. Jeremy Peterson, an Ogden Republican, plans to forgo another re-election bid, making him the fourth incumbent state lawmaker in Weber County to opt out of running again.

“There’ll be a whole new crop of fresh faces at the Legislature representing Weber County,” Peterson said.

Peterson announced he wouldn’t seek re-election to the District 9 post on the floor of the Utah House early Friday morning, saying family considerations factored into the decision.

He has four daughters, ages 10 to 15, “and there are a lot of demands being placed,” Peterson said. “So we’re going to take a pause on public service for a little while. We’re going to focus on family and our business ventures for a little while and possibly come back. We’ll see what life has in store for us.”

Peterson, a real estate broker also involved in property management, is finishing his fourth two-year term. He held off on making his plans public until Friday, the end of the 2018 legislative session, because he feared lame duck status, if known publicly, would have harmed his ability to legislate.

He joins three other Weber County state representatives, all GOPers, to forgo re-election bids this cycle — Justin Fawson of North Ogden, Gage Froerer of Huntsville and Dixon Pitcher of the Uintah Highlands.

RELATED: Utah Rep. Justin Fawson to step down, move to North Carolina

RELATED:  Utah Rep. Dixon Pitcher won't seek re-election, Ogden lawyer to vie for spot

RELATED:  Utah Rep. Gage Froerer won't run again for House, to seek county spot instead

Kathie Darby, a Democrat from West Haven, plans to run for the District 9 post, which covers east-central Ogden, western Ogden and West Haven. No one else had yet filed to seek the post as of Friday afternoon, according to the Weber County and state election websites.

RELATED: West Haven's Kathie Darby plans to vie again for District 9 Utah House post

Peterson has advised Weber County Republican leaders of his plans but knows of no GOP front-runner for the seat.

“I’m trying to encourage anyone who’s interested in public service to run. There’s no heir apparent on the Republican side,” Peterson said. “It’s a wide-open field.”

Among his accomplishments as a lawmaker this term was passage of House Bill 126, meant to reduce the concentration of Utah Department of Corrections parolees placed in a Weber County facility and distribute them around the state. More generally, he noted the mix of urban, suburban and rural zones within District 9, requiring careful balance in legislating.

RELATED: Ogden's Peterson again proposes bill to distribute parolees around the state

Peterson defeated Democratic incumbent Neil Hansen in 2010 to take the District 9 seat.

According to the Weber County Republican Party website, the incumbent lawmakers from the other House districts covering parts of the county plan to seek re-election. They are Kelly Miles of District 11, Mike Schultz of District 12 and Lee Perry of District 29.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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