FARMINGTON — Davis County Commissioner John R. Petroff was not ready to call it a victory at press time even though he had 57 percent of the votes.
Instead, Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said Petroff looked to be the winner of the GOP primary race for the commission seat.
Rawlings said Petroff had 13,005 of the votes and Spencer had 9,877 of the votes as of 10 p.m. Tuesday.
“We have a few left to count, but I don’t think it will change much,” Rawlings said.
Petroff, 66, faced Terry R. Spencer, 52, in Tuesday’s GOP primary. When the early and absentee votes were counted after the polls were closed, the two were just 525 votes apart, with Petroff in the lead.
As the night progressed, Petroff’s lead widened, according to the Davis County website.
Rawlings said about 15 percent of the county’s 145,974 registered voters participated in the primary.
Petroff will face Democratic challenger Steve Anderson in the Nov. 6 general election.
Both Republican candidates spent Tuesday working at their jobs: Petroff as a county commissioner, attending commission meetings and other county-related meetings, while Spencer, who is an attorney, spent the day in court in West Jordan and Salt Lake City.
Both candidates said this year’s primary was different from other elections they have participated in, because of the use of electronic media.
Both men used email, Facebook, and other social media sites to get their messages out to voters. But they also knocked on doors, answered phone calls, mailed out fliers and attended meetings to talk to voters.
“Facebook alone wouldn’t have been good enough to make a major difference, but it was a great reminder to get out the support to go vote and to explain some things,” Petroff said.
Petroff said he is grateful to all the supporters who came out to help him get his message across.
“We had to try to get to the voters and we did not have a lot of money to work with, so a lot of people came out and worked with me,” Petroff said. “I give credit to those people who helped with the campaign.”
Spencer said he had a lot of help from supporters to get his message out.
“I knocked on a lot of doors, sent out mailers, attended public meetings in every locale that would have us and talked to hundreds of people either by text, phone or email,” Spencer said.
Spencer said getting his message out that the county could do its business for less money was important to him.
He started his campaign by pledging that he would do the job at $40,000 a year versus the $119,518 salary Petroff and the other two commissioners receive. He said he would donate the remainder of his salary to a Davis County charity.
Petroff said he is more concerned with the role the county government plays in the overall economic stability of Davis County.