OGDEN — Weber County voters will have plenty of candidates to choose from.
And though President Donald Trump and Joe Biden seem to be getting most preelection coverage, the jockeying has already started among the local candidates.
Lacy Richards, chairperson of the Weber County Republican Party, said, not surprisingly, that the GOP hopefuls in the varied contests are the ones to beat. The Republican Party tends to dominate county politics. “We’re confident that in every case, our candidates are the best candidates,” she said.
Zach Thomas, chairperson of the Weber County Democratic Party, said local Democrats are putting their focus on Utah House and Weber County races, not the contests for statewide or federal office. A handful of races, he said, have been singled out for particularly close attention.
“Our No. 1 priority continues to be defending our seat, House District 10, Lou Shurtliff,” Thomas said. Shurtliff, elected to the District 10 Utah House seat in 2018, is the sole Democrat among Weber County’s state legislative contingent. She faces a challenge from GOPer Travis Campbell.
Thomas also noted three other races of particular interest to Democrats, for the District 8, 9 and 11 seats in the Utah House. Democrats lost out to GOPers in the races for the three seats two years ago, by less than a percentage point in the District 8 contest, about five percentage points in the District 9 race and about 10 percentage points in District 11. “Our main focus is just on flipping those seats that we think we can,” he said.
Owing to COVID-19 concerns, much of the campaigning will be virtual, with limited in-person events, putting a twist in things. Richards lamented the turn. “I find it easier to make connections with people when you can have a real live conversation,” she said.
Aside from the presidential contest, Utah voters will cast ballots for governor, selecting among Republican Spencer Cox, Democrat Chris Peterson and a handful of others. Northern Utah voters will pick a new representative to the 1st District U.S. House seat, choosing between Republican Blake Moore and Democrat Darren Parry to replace Rep. Rob Bishop, who’s not seeking reelection.
Here’s a rundown of the contested state legislative and county races on the ballot in Weber County:
District 19, Utah Senate: Democrat Katy Owens of Summit County and Republican John Johnson of North Ogden are facing off for the seat. Allen Christensen, a Republican, now holds the post, but he’s not running again.
District 7, Utah House: Republican Ryan Wilcox of Ogden and Democrat Grant Protzman of North Ogden are facing off for the seat. Republican Kyle Andersen now holds the post, but he’s not seeking reelection after just one term.
District 8, Utah House: Republican incumbent Steve Waldrip of Eden is facing a challenge from Democrat Oscar Mata of Harrisville in his bid for a second term. Waldrip narrowly defeated Democrat Deanna Froerer two years ago.
District 9, Utah House: Republican incumbent Calvin Musselman of West Haven, also seeking his second term, faces a challenge from Democrat Steven Olsen of Ogden.
District 10, Utah House: Shurtliff, a Democrat, is seeking her second consecutive term, challenged by Campbell. Both are from Ogden. Shurtliff also held the post from 1999 through 2008.
District 11, Utah House: Republican incumbent Kelly Miles of the South Ogden area faces a challenge from Democrat Jason Allen of Washington Terrace. They also faced off in 2018, with Miles coming out on top.
District 12, Utah House: Republican incumbent Mike Schultz of Hooper faces a challenge from Shawn Ferriola of Roy, a United Utah Party candidate.
District 29, Utah House: Democrat Kerry Wayne of Marriott-Slaterville, Republican Matt Gwynn of Farr West and Tanner Greenhalgh of Brigham City, representing the United Utah Party, are facing off for the District 29 seat. Lee Perry, a Republican, now holds it, but he’s not seeking reelection.
Weber County Commission: Republican Jim Harvey, seeking his second term, faces a challenge from Democrat Alex McDonald.
Weber County Recorder: Republican incumbent Leann Kilts, seeking her second term, faces a challenge from Democrat Samuel Leake.
Weber County Treasurer: Republican incumbent John Bond is facing a challenge from Democrat Joshua Pope.