Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

April 29, 2014
Republican party retains Thatcher as senate candidate

Incumbent Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, beat Tooele County resident Vicki Griffith in an intra-party challenge for the party’s nomination to represent state Senate District 12.

State Republican party nominating convention delegates from Senate District 12 met during the state Republican convention held Saturday at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy to select the party’s nominee.

Thatcher received 62 delegate votes to Griffith’s 25 votes, giving Thatcher 71 percent of the votes. Thatcher advanced to the general election without a primary vote.

State Republican party rules allow candidates that receive 60 percent or more of the delegate’s votes to escape a primary contest.

State Senate District 12 includes Tooele City, Pine Canyon, part of Erda along with parts of Magna, West Valley City, Kearns, West Jordan, West Bench, and Taylorsville in Salt Lake County.

Thatcher was first elected to the Senate in 2010 when he defeated Sen. Brent Goodfellow, a Democrat from West Valley City with 26 years of state legislative experience.

Thatcher went in to the convention with the numerical odds in his favor.

Republican party procedures allocate delegates to voting precincts based on the strength of Republican party votes in each precinct.

Senate District 12 was assigned a total of 90 delegates, 39 from Tooele County and 51 from Salt Lake County, according to Griffith.

The allocation of delegates gave Tooele County 43 percent of the district’s total delegates.

Griffith also asserted that a pre-convention mailer from Thatcher’s campaign to delegates that implied his candidacy was endorsed by the state party, along with the appearance of state Senate Republican leaders at the convention who endorsed Thatcher, contributed to her loss.

Thatcher will be challenged in the general election by Clare Collard, a Democrat from Magna.

Rep. Merrill Nelson’s, R-Grantsville, Republican challenger Cindy Vincent, of Stockton, withdrew from the race before the convention leaving Nelson to advance to the general election without a convention challenge.

Nelson represents House District 68, which includes Lake Point, Erda, Grantsville, Wendover, Dugway, Stockton, Rush Valley, Vernon, Ophir and parts of Stansbury Park, along with Juab and Millard counties, and parts of Utah and Beaver counties

Nelson has no Democratic challenger but will be opposed on the general election ballot by Independent American candidate Rett Rowley of Delta.

Sen. Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City, who represents Senate District 17, also had no Republican challenger.

Knudson is being challenged in the general election by Democrat Scott Totman of Stansbury Park and Constitution party member Kirk Pearson from Lake Point.

Senate District 17 includes Lake Point, Stansbury Park, West Erda, Grantsville, Wendover, Dugway, Stockton, Rush Valley, Vernon and Ophir along with parts of Box Elder and Cache counties.

Rep. Doug Sagers’ state House District 21 lies entirely within Tooele County. Sagers was unopposed at the county Republican Convention held April 18.

Voters will choose between Sagers and Democrat Rick Pollock in the general election.

House District 21 includes Tooele City, Pine Canyon, and part of Erda.

The general election will be held Nov. 4. 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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