Utah House District 10 hopefuls

Terry Schow, center, lost in the June 26, 2018, Republican primary for the District 10 Utah House seat, but has decided to run as a write-in candidate. He faces Lorraine Brown, left, the GOP primary winner, and Democrat Lou Shurtliff, right.

SOUTH OGDEN — Utah House hopeful Terry Schow narrowly lost to Lorraine Brown among GOP delegates at the Weber County Republican Party convention last April.

He lost to Brown again in the Republican primary for the District 10 seat last June by a wider 57-43 margin.

He's not ready to give up, though — he's filed papers with the Weber County Elections Office to run as a write-in candidate for the seat, which serves parts of southern Ogden and South Ogden. The plans have sparked dismay and concern about splitting the Republican vote from both Brown and the current District 10 office holder, GOPer Dixon Pitcher, who's not seeking re-election.

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But Schow cited the relatively small pool of voters who weighed in during the primary, around 2,700 of 15,000 or so total registered voters in District 10, and the prodding he's received from backers to keep up his campaign. As a write-in candidate, supporters will have to write Schow's name in on a blank line on the ballot where the District 10 hopefuls are listed and darken the oval beside it.

"It was such a close race. I think I'd like to see what the general vote folks think," he said Wednesday, noting potential support among what he believes to be a sizable pool of unaffiliated voters.

Schow, former executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, lost to Brown by just one vote among GOP delegates, so close that they both ended up on the primary ballot. The difference in the June voting, though, was wider — 14 percentage points, or 1,520 votes for Brown to 1,147 votes for Schow.

Also on the Nov. 6 ballot for the District 10 seat will be Democrat Lou Shurtliff, and Brown, while giving Schow little chance of winning, worries his bid will split GOPers. "Obviously I think this is a decision that will potentially harm the party and plays into the hands of the Democrats," said Brown, a family law attorney.

Brown said GOP leaders also asked Schow to reconsider his plans and Dixon echoed Brown's concerns about diluting the GOP vote.

"It's a disservice to the party," Dixon said. "All you do is you take votes away from the Republican side of the ticket."

Shurtliff, who held the District 10 seat from 1999 through 2008, didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment. But Zach Thomas, chairman of the Weber County Democratic Party, said Schow's plans bode well for the Democratic hopeful's candidacy, splitting the GOP vote.

Schow still regards himself a Republican and means no ill will toward the party. "Please know that this isn’t about loyalty or disloyalty to conservative Republican principles, because I am a life-long Republican; it’s about who can best represent you," he said in a Facebook post.

He also says he's in it to win.

"Hard battles are not new to me," Schow said. "I'm not afraid of a challenge."

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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