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Weber County Republicans, Democrats hold conventions; state gatherings next

By Ryan Aston - | Apr 15, 2024

Photo supplied, Weber County Democratic Party

The Weber County Democratic Party held its convention in Ogden on Saturday, April 13, 2024. Republicans in the county held their convention the same day.

OGDEN — Republicans and Democrats in Weber County held their respective nominating conventions over the weekend, with state conventions growing larger on the horizon.

The Republican Party of Weber County held its convention at Ben Lomond High School on Saturday morning, and it was well-attended. Party Chair Jackson Wing told the Standard-Examiner that 537 of the party’s 625 delegates were on hand.

Jim Harvey (Weber County commissioner), John Ulibarri (county assessor), Bahy Rahimzadegan (county recorder/surveyor) and Lynelle Jensen (county treasurer) were all nominated by acclamation.

So, too, were Ryan Wilcox and Jake Sawyer for Utah House seats in Districts 7 and 9, respectively. Meanwhile, Jill Koford received an overwhelming majority of the votes over Ignacio “Nacho” Valdez to capture the party’s nomination for House District 10.

Sawyer is running to replace Calvin Musselman, who in turn is running unopposed for Senate District 4 — currently held by David Buxton, who is not on seeking reelection.

A resolution calling for the termination of Utah’s involvement with the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, passed in a close vote, per Wing. ERIC is a national nonprofit body that helps manage and update voter lists in several states, but it has come under scrutiny in conservative circles over concerns about the integrity of election rolls.

Additionally, the party recognized County Treasurer John Bond and Recorder/Surveyor Leann Kilts, who are retiring from their roles as elected officials this year.

Straw poll winners for nominations in state and federal races to be decided at the state convention include Brad Wilson (U.S. Senate), Blake Moore (U.S. House District 1) and Ricky Hatch (state auditor). Hatch currently serves as Weber County’s clerk/auditor.

Meanwhile, Phil Lyman narrowly edged out Gov. Spencer Cox 43.8% to 43.2% in the poll for governor and Frank Mylar was picked by a slim margin over Rachel Terry, 34.4%-33.7%, for Utah attorney general.

Said Wing of the convention as a whole: “It was a relatively short convention, well-run and organized, very few small hiccups.”

On the heels of the Republican convention, the Weber County Democratic Party held its event at Ogden’s DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts on Saturday afternoon.

The party’s delegates nominated Angela Choberka (House District 9) and incumbent Rosemary Lesser (House District 10) by acclamation, alongside Steven Van Wagoner (county commissioner).

Utah Democratic Party Vice Chair Oscar Mata told the Standard-Examiner that the party is “excited” to support Lesser in her latest race against Koford. The two also squared off in 2022.

“We’re really happy for the same matchup,” Mata sad. “I don’t think anything has changed in the past two years since Rosemary defeated Jill last time. If anything, Rosemary has really cemented her herself as a representative that is about representing her district and not just the party.”

Party Chair Kate Nielsen noted that the other races will be decided at the Utah Democratic Convention in Salt Lake City later this month.

The candidates in those races include Caroline Gleich, Laird Hamblin and Archie Williams III (U.S. Senate); William Campbell (U.S. House District 1); Rep. Brian King (governor); Stacy Bernal (Senate District 3); Amber Hardy (House District 6); Sharon Hilton (House District 12); and Neil Hansen (state treasurer).

Said Mata of the vibes at the convention: “Democrats in Weber County, we’re excited. We’re excited to vote at the local level, and we’re excited to vote at the top of the ticket.”

Both parties hold their state conventions April 27 — Republicans at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City and Democrats at Cottonwood High School in Murray.


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