A small-town, Morgan County rancher new to state politics may actually have a fighting chance taking down a long-time incumbent in a tight primary race for Utah House of Representatives District 53.
At the close of polls on June 28, Logan Wilde brought in 2,294 votes to Mel Brown’s 2,230. That is a difference of 64 votes in an election conducted entirely by mail, so all votes needed to be canvassed before official results will be announced on Tuesday, July 12.
At the close of day July 1, certified votes brought the race even closer with Wilde bringing in 2,463 and Brown taking in 2,456. Only seven votes separated the pair, making this race the poster child of “every vote counts.”
The latest update shows Wilde holding the lead at 2,481 to Brown’s 2,465. But neither candidate is doing a victory dance yet. With only a 16-vote difference, the race could still go either way, leaving Brown and Wilde on the edge of their seats one more long weekend.
If Wilde’s numbers hold out, he will be on the November ballot against Democrat opponent Cole R. Capener, a Park City resident.
This would be an especially impressive win for Morgan’s current County Councilman considering Brown is well entrenched, having served on the state legislature for 10 years in District 53 and 13 years representing Salt Lake County.
According to Utah State law, if the results fall within a 0.25 percent margin, a candidate can call for a recount. Currently, Wilde leads by a 0.32 percent margin.
If elected, Wilde would represent residents in the five counties of District 53—Morgan, Summit, Daggett, Rich and Duchesne.