FARMINGTON -- Claims of Davis County budget debt and six-figure county commissioner salaries did nothing to deter voters from giving incumbent Commissioner John Petroff Jr. a second four-year term.
Petroff, 66, former West Point mayor, jumped out to an early lead in Tuesday's general election and never looked back.
Petroff had received 69,622 votes with all 326 precincts reporting, defeating Democratic challenger Steven J. Andersen, who had 31,442 votes.
"For me, it will be like going to work for another day. I have a schedule to meet and a job to do," Petroff said, upbeat about his win, but a little dour over the presidential race and GOP candidate Mitt Romney's apparent loss.
"There were a lot of accusations and I'm glad people elected me for another term," Petroff said of his contest. But in spite of his challenger's accusations, Petroff said, he has a lot of respect for Andersen.
"I think he is a good man," Petroff said. "I don't agree with him in what he sees in moving the county forward."
Andersen, 48, a Farmington businessman, campaigned on being the fiscal conservative in the race.
But Andersen's effort, including a willingness to forgo his salary in serving as commissioner, came apart under the force of the GOP wave created by Romney's presence at the top of the Republican ticket.
Davis County election officials projected early Tuesday between 80 to 85 percent of its 158,000 registered voters would cast a ballot in the election, compared to a turnout of 77 percent in the 2008 presidential election.
A strong voter turnout bodes well for Davis Republicans, as 51 percent of the county's voters are registered Republican, compared with 8 percent registered Democrat. About 40 percent of the county's registered voters are unaffiliated.
Petroff said he was aware voter turnout was strong when he went to his West Point polling location at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday, where traditionally he is the first to vote, only to find he was the 40th person waiting in line.
Any vote total over the standard 31 percent Davis Democrats generally receive in Davis County, Andersen said, he considers a moral victory considering he started 20,000 votes down from the onset because of straight-party ticket voting.
But there is no wasted motion in his effort, Andersen said, and if Utah wants to be relevant in the future, it is going to need balance in its politics.
"Whether I am in county government or work as a citizen outside (it), that is the victory," Andersen said before the final results were reported.