Bob Stevenson, a Republican contender in the crowded race for the 1st District U.S. House seat, has garnered enough signatures to secure a place on the GOP primary ballot, he says.

He announced Thursday that he submitted enough signatures to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office to qualify for the ballot. He and the other hopefuls hoping to secure a place by gathering signatures must garner 7,000 of them, and Stevenson’s campaign said he mustered around 7,700 petition signatures.

The candidate, a Davis County commissioner and the former mayor of Layton, became the first to submit the required number of signatures, according to his campaign. However, the lieutenant governor’s office must review the signatures to make sure they’re from eligible voters.

“My plan was to collect the signatures as early as possible and get that part of the campaign out of the way. I am now concentrating on meeting with Republican state delegates, caucus attendees and other voters in the first district. This is the part of the campaign I really love,” Stevenson said in a statement.

Ten Republicans and at least two Democrats have announced plans to run for the 1st District seat, now held by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop. Bishop isn’t seeking reelection to that post but is running on the ticket of Utah gubernatorial hopeful Thomas Wright for the lieutenant governor’s seat. The 1st District includes Weber County, northern Davis County and eight other northern and northeastern Utah counties.

Utah candidates may seek a place on the primary ballot through their respective party caucuses and/or collection of signatures on petitions. Stevenson said he would still be seeking the Republican nomination at the GOP state convention in April.

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