OGDEN — Within Weber County, several Utah House contests and a Utah Senate race are among the key campaigns that'll face scrutiny by voters.
They're also the races that'll likely get the most attention from wonks and others who follow local politics.
Three races are open, meaning new candidates will be selected regardless of who wins — for the District 19 Utah Senate post and the District 7 and District 29 Utah House seats. And though Republicans hold sway across the county, Democrats here are promising to campaign hard, aiming to chip away at GOP dominance.
"We're definitely contesting every race, every House race, and we're getting resources to all those candidates," said Zach Thomas, chairperson of the Weber County Democratic Party. Keeping Rep. Lou Shurtliff, the sole Democrat in Weber County's legislative delegation, in her District 10 seat is a particular priority, he said.
Lacy Richards, chairperson of the Weber County Republican Party, didn't single out any race. "We're working hard to support all our candidates. They're all important races to us," she said.
The United Utah Party, a more centrist group formed in response to dismay with partisan gridlock among GOPers and Democrats, is fielding candidates in two races here, for the District 12 and District 29 House seats.
Here's a look at the contests and the candidates:
Senate District 19: Sen. Allen Christensen, a North Ogden Republican, now holds the seat but isn't seeking reelection after four terms. That sets up a contest between Democrat Katy Owens, a public policy consultant from Summit County, and Republican John Johnson, a Utah State University professor who lives in North Ogden.
Owens sounds a message of inclusion. "I believe that talking to and really listening to everyone, regardless of political affiliation or background, is the key to making good public policy," she said on her website.
Johnson was heavily involved in the petition drive earlier this year to force a referendum on the controversial tax overhaul crafted, and ultimately scrapped, by Utah lawmakers. He calls himself a "classic Reagan conservative."
District 19 extends into northern Ogden, North Ogden, Pleasant View and Harrisville in Weber County and also covers parts of Morgan and Summit counties.
Senate District 20: Sen. Gregg Buxton, a Republican from Roy, is unopposed in his bid for a second term. The district covers Weber County largely west of Interstate 15 and a small portion of northern Davis County around Sunset and Clinton.
House District 7: Rep. Kyle Andersen, a North Ogden Republican, now holds the post but isn't seeking reelection after just one term, setting the stage for a new representative. Vying are Republican Ryan Wilcox of Ogden and Democrat Grant Protzman of North Ogden, both former state lawmakers seeking a return to government.
Wilcox, who calls himself a "constitutionalist at heart" actually held the District 7 post from 2009-2014 and previously served as chairman of the Weber County Republican Party. "Ryan is most passionate about the protection of our basic liberties delineated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and has spent the better part of a decade of public service working to that end," his campaign website reads.
Protzman served in the Utah House in the late 1980s and 1990s, representing the area around Pleasant View, North Ogden and northern Ogden. "He is a proven entity in getting big things done for Utah and his local community," his campaign Facebook page reads.
A blurb on Protzman's campaign website touts the import of working together. "Effective government comes from cooperative problem-solving, not acrimonious partisan conflict," it reads.
District 7 covers portions of northern Ogden, North Ogden and Pleasant View.
House District 8: Rep. Steve Waldrip, a Republican from the Eden area, seeks a second term, challenged by Democrat Oscar Mata of Harrisville.
"For more than 18 years I've helped to build Weber County as a community and business leader," Waldrip, who used to help manage Boyer Business Depot Ogden, said on his campaign website. "I know this area's needs and I've helped plan for them."
Mata runs a substance abuse treatment center and works at DaVinci Academy, an Ogden charter school. "I’m running for the Utah House to give a voice to the people of House District 8. I have a track record of building coalitions and serving my community," he said on his Facebook page.
Waldrip narrowly defeated Democrat Deanna Froerer in the race for the seat two years ago. District 8 covers parts of Harrisville, central Ogden and Ogden's East Bench, extending to the Ogden Valley and eastern Weber County.
House District 9: Rep. Calvin Musselman, a West Haven Republican, seeks his second term, challenged by Democrat Steve Olsen of Ogden.
"If elected, I am committed to upholding the constitution, fighting for local business, improving public education and pursuing economic development for Northern Utah," Musselman, a Realtor, said on his campaign website. He also said he'd put a focus on "the success of families" as a lawmaker.
Olsen said he would offer a different perspective if elected. "We have plenty of lawyers and real estate salesmen in the legislature. I'm different. As a lifetime engineer, statistics practitioner and trained consultant in team-based problem solving, I will use facts and data to make Utah a better place," he said on his campaign Facebook page.
District 9 extends from West Haven to central Ogden, also covering northern Roy.
House District 10: Shurtliff, the Democratic incumbent, is seeking her second consecutive term, challenged by Republican Travis Campbell of Ogden, a staffer in the office of U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, Northern Utah's representative. Shurtliff, from Ogden, also held the post from 1999 through 2008.
Shurtliff promises "to continue serving the people of Utah with a reasonable voice and to work toward an open and responsive government," she said on her campaign website. She noted her focus on a pair of proposals, one related to treatment of people going through the judicial system, the other on kindergarten education, saying she needs to return the legislature to continue her efforts on the measures.
Campbell puts a focus on quality of life. "As a father of two, my focus will always be to ensure our state remains one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. My commitment is to fight for you and all of the families in House District 10," he said on his campaign website.
District 10 covers parts of southern Ogden and South Ogden.
House District 11: Rep. Kelly Miles, a Republican from the South Ogden area, is seeking his third term, challenged by Jason Allen, a Washington Terrace Democrat. This is a rematch from 2018, when Miles defeated Allen by a 55%-45% margin.
Miles, a lawyer, touts his "conservative values" on his campaign website. "I will always vote to uphold the U.S. Constitution, including religious freedom, right to bear arms and due process. I am grateful that our state Constitution mandates a balanced budget, which enables us to implement fiscal conservatism," it reads.
Allen, a civil engineer and former teacher, calls himself a "radically moderate Democrat" on his campaign website.
"For years, I have felt that I am not adequately represented by a far right or far left platform," he said. He touted the import of having a representative "with common sense, not another politician who chooses party over people."
District 11 covers Washington Terrace, Riverdale, parts of South Ogden and Uintah and, in neighboring Davis County, South Weber and part of Layton.
House District 12: Rep. Mike Schultz, a Republican from Hooper, is seeking his fourth term. He's being challenged by United Utah Party hopeful Shawn Ferriola of Roy.
Schultz sounded a pro-business, limited-government message on his campaign website.
"As your representative, my main focus is on getting our economy back on track, getting people back to work and protecting our liberties," he said. "Government should give individuals and businesses the tools to succeed, and not get in the way.”
Ferriola emphasized the importance of cooperation in governing.
"I want to be a true representative of the people I represent as well as help bridge the political divide that currently exists in our country and our state. I want to build coalitions that address the major problems that we face in our state to find solutions that are good for all Utahns and that enable all of us to thrive in our communities," he said on his campaign website.
District 12 covers Hooper, parts of Roy and West Haven in western Weber County and extends south into northwestern Davis County.
House District 29: Rep. Lee Perry, a Republican from Perry, now represents District 29, but he's not seeking reelection. The three candidates are Tanner Greenhalgh of the United Utah Party, Republican Matt Gwynn and Democrat Kerry Wayne.
Gwynn is a member of the Farr West City Council and works for the Roy Police Department.
"Matt has continuously defended the U.S. Constitution and all of our rights contained therein," Gwynn's campaign website reads. "He takes great pride in working with others to create positive change in the community and loves reaching goals that increase individual independence and improve the quality of life of all those who reside within it."
Wayne, from Marriott-Slaterville, expressed concern with excessive taxes. He works as a contract manager for an aerospace manufacturer and unsuccessfully vied against Perry in 2018 for the District 29 seat. "Utah needs to spend its money like the limited resource that it is. My goal is to provide voters a viable alternative to the tone-deaf and short-sighted politicians that are currently in power today," he said in a message on the Weber County Democratic Party website.
Greenhalgh, from Brigham City, said he'd push to increase teacher salaries, touts the importance of access to mental health care and believes in term limits. He also believes in growing the middle class. "Livable wages, access to affordable health care and time off to spend with their families are absolutely crucial in helping build and maintain the middle class," he said on his campaign website.
District 29 includes Plain City, Farr West and Marriott-Slaterville plus parts of Pleasant View and Harrisville in Weber County. In Box Elder County, it covers Perry, Willard and part of Brigham City.