Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 2, 2020
Wardle Republican front-runner for County Council seat

Tooele City Council Chairman holds almost half of the primary votes tallied for County Council District 1 

With a little over 6,500 ballots counted on election night and another 2,500 in quarantine waiting to be counted, Tooele County Clerk Marilyn Gillette released the unofficial election results at 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

If Tuesday night’s results hold, voters will have denied a current County Commssioner’s bid to transition to the new County Council and two former school district employees will face each other in the general election for a seat on the Tooele County School District Board of Education.

Tooele City Council Chairman Scott Wardle holds a substantial lead over County Commissioner Shawn Milne in the race to be the Republican name on the general election ballot for the new County Council. 

Wardle has 47.9% of the votes. Milne is in second place in the three-way race with 28.7%. Political newcomer Sarah Patino has 23.4% of the votes.

There are around 2,500 ballots in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic that will be counted next week, according to Gillette.

Gillette notes that this was an unusual election, with all vote-by-mail and no voter assistance centers other than drive up voting at the County Building. 

There were 150 votes cast on Election Day during the drive-up voting, according to Gillette.

In past elections, the absentee and other ballots counted after the election generally follow the same trend as the ballots counted on election day, according to Gillette.

Milne said the results are not what he “loved it to be.”

Although he has some supporters that remain positive, Milne acknowledged that the results are unlikely to be modified.

“I’ll just let it play out,” Milne said in response to a question about conceding at this point.

“I enjoyed serving and I am proud of my accomplishments,” MIlne said. “There may be a few things that I may have done differently, but I wouldn’t change those tough votes where I had to choose what was best for the county.”

It looks like general election voters will have the choice of two former school district employees for Tooele County School Board District 1.

Robert Gowans, retired teacher and former Tooele Education Association president, is in first place with 47.9% of the votes cast. In second place, right now, is Al Bottema, who has been a member of the school district’s maintenance crew, energy manager and a track coach. Bottema has 29.1% of the votes cast. Local real estate agent Sandy Critchlow has 23.1% of the current votes counted.

The school board race is nonpartisan. The top two vote getters will advance to the general election. The winner will replace Kathy Taylor, a retired school teacher who did not seek re-election.

In the statewide Republican primary, Tooele County voters mirrored the statewide results.

Locally, Spencer Cox holds a small lead over Jon Huntsman Jr. in the primary race for governor, 35.7% to 34.8%, respectively.

Incumbent Sean Reyes appears to be the Republican choice for state attorney general with 57.7% of the local vote and 54.3% of the statewide vote.

There were 1,392 Tooele County voters that changed their party affiliation during the month of June, according to Gillette.

Gillette said the remaining 2,500 quarantined ballots will be counted next week and the vote tally will be updated. 

At this time, because of the ballot quarantine, the ballot envelopes have not been scanned so there is no information available on those ballots by precinct or districts, according to Gillette.

The official canvass of the election results, where the results are declared final, is expected to take place on July 21, she said.


Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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