OGDEN — Republican Matthew Bell, 51, won election Tuesday to a vacant seat on the Weber County Commission.
He will fill the seat now occupied by Commission Chairman Craig Dearden, who did not seek another term.
Bell, of Uinta Highlands, defeated Democrat Corey Combe, 61, also a resident of Uinta Highlands. With 136 of 149 precincts reporting at 11:30 p.m., Bell had 41,204 votes to Combe’s 25,142.
“I had a lot of family and friends help with this campaign,” Bell said. “We knocked on a lot of doors. We think that made a difference.”
Bell said he believed his constituents identified with the conservative Republican message his campaign was delivering.
“That made a difference, too,” he said. “We’re excited to get going to work.”
Currently a lieutenant with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, Bell is a longtime chairman of the county’s Republican Party.
The new commissioner wants to bring to Weber County more jobs, especially those in high-tech.
He said his experience in the private sector also will help him serve well in the commission.
Bell is a former part owner, manager and operator of a family business, Bell Photographers.
He is currently a part owner of Weber Self Storage.
Bell said the county needs to bring in and support private business.
“I know private business is the key to this economy, not government,” Bell said while campaigning. “That’s where government gets its money from.”
The economy and jobs was the key concern for both Bell and Combe in the election.
“I did the best I can,” Combe said upon seeing the results Tuesday night. “I don’t know what else I could do. Best of luck.”
Combe owns and operates a landscaping business.