The Utah Republican Party nominating convention was held on April 21. US House representative Rob Bishop who represents the Morgan area sailed through the convention and secured the nomination as candidate for US House District 1. He garnered more than 80% of the vote. Well over the 60% needed. Senator Hatch did not fare as well.
Hatch had expressed confidence in bypassing a primary by getting 60% of the delegates at the nominating convention to support him. He fell just barely short of the needed votes getting 59.19 percent, just forty two votes short of the needed number.
Hatch has been targeted by Tea Party supporters during this election cycle. Hatch, has called the claims made in many of the ads run against him, primarily by an organization called Freedom Works, as distortions and falsehoods. He has called those who run Freedom Works “radical libertarians”. Hatch has served six terms as a senator. This would be his seventh. Hatch has indicated that, if elected, this would be his last. He has also communicated that this is a critical time when his leadership will be most needed.
Hatch’s detractors have said that he has been too long in Washington, has supported too much government spending, and it is time for a new senator and new ideas.
Hatch spent significant funds in advertising and worked hard in caucus meetings to communicate his message. His efforts paid off as be garnered nearly the number of votes needed to stave off a primary. The race will now go to a primary against Dan Liljenquist. Liljenquist has been serving in the Utah House of Representatives . He has asserted that he is a fiscal conservative that can change the direction in Washington.
Other Utah GOP races headed to the primary include State Auditor where Auston Johnson will face off against John Dougall and the Attorney General office where Sean Reyes will vie with John Swallow.
Governor Herbert barely staved off an attack from Morgan Philpot with 63% of the vote. Mel Brown received 65 percent of the vote and will be the GOP representative on the ballot once again for district 53 in the Utah House of Representatives. Allen Christensen will also return as the GOP candidate for the Utah Senate. He received nearly 73% of the votes.