Candidates file for congressional, Utah legislative races

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Reps. Rob Bishop, John Curtis, Mia Love and Chris Stewart this week officially filed for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Federal and state candidates in Utah have until 5 p.m. Thursday to file for the November election.

Curtis won the special election in 2017 to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, after Chaffetz stepped down in June.

Curtis faces two Republican challengers who filed Monday, Henry Kneitz III, of Draper, and Michael David Leavitt, of Orem, a distant relative of former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt.

Love is seeking her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces two Democratic challengers who filed Monday — Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Sheldon Kirkham of Taylorsville, a political novice who says he is endorsed by the local chapter of OurRevolution, a super PAC that funds progressive politicians in the mold of Bernie Sanders.

Stewart is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. House. He faces a pair of Democratic challengers, Randy Hopkins, an executive with the Utah Department of Workforce Services who lives in Farmington, and Shireen Ghorbani, a schoolteacher from Salt Lake City; as well as a United Utah Party candidate who filed Tuesday, Jan Garbett, of Salt Lake City, who owns Garbett Homes with her husband; and Libertarian candidate Jeffery Whipple, of St. George.

In January, Curtis filed his intent to gather signatures to put his name on the Republican primary ballot. He also announced his intent to seek the nomination through the caucus and convention system.

“My campaign team and I are actively pursuing both paths in 2018,” he said. “I feel that we are in a good position with both paths and look forward to continue traveling the district to talk with voters one on one about the issues that matter to them most.”

Love has said she will seek both the convention path and the signature-gathering path to secure her candidacy. At her signing of her declaration of candidacy, Love warned that a Nancy Pelosi-led House would undo Republican achievements in areas such as tax reform, saying every seat counts.

"Our most crucial legislation often comes down to just a few votes," Love said.

Also filing to represent Utah in Congress this week was Eric Eliason, a southern Utah native running as a candidate with the new United Utah Party. Eliason seeks to oust Bishop, the incumbant in the 1st District since 2002. Bishop is seeking a ninth term in office.

Also running in District 1 is Democrat Lee Castillo, a social worker from Layton who filed Monday. One Green Party candidate, Jerold Davis, has announced his intention to file.

U.S. Senate

For the U.S. Senate, six Republicans and three Democrats have filed to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who is retiring at the end of his seventh term. He has been in the Senate since 1977, making him the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate in history. His seat is up for grabs in November.

Those who have filed for Hatch’s seat so far include Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson and fellow Democrats Larry Livingstone, of Bountiful, and Mitchell Vice, of Salt Lake City; Republicans Alicia Colvan, of Layton, Jeremy Friedbaum, of Provo, Stoney Fonua, of Herriman, Larry Meyers, of St. George, Sam Parker, of Salt Lake City, and Gail Painter; Constitution Party candidate Tim Aalders, of Highland; and Independent American candidate Reed McCandless, of Eagle Mountain.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has already announced his intention to run, is the front-runner, though he had not officially filed for office as of Tuesday. Romney has announced his intent to gather signatures to gain access to the ballot.

Utah Legislature

In the Utah Legislature, half the Senate is up for grabs in November.

A handful of senators have decided to retire, including Sens. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City; Howard Stephenson, R-Draper; Majority Assistant Whip Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City; and Budget Vice Chairman Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal.

The newest member of the Senate, Sen. Brian Zehnder, R-Holladay, filed his candidacy for re-election Monday. Zehnder was appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert to fill the vacancy left in District 8 when Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights, accepted a position with the Trump administration. The winner in District 8 will serve a two-year term.

Rep. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton, is retiring from the House to run for state Senate District 17. He will face Republican Clark Davis, of Brigham City, and Democrat Michael Keil, of Stansbury Park.

Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, is also leaving the House to run for the Utah Senate in District 11, where he faces Republican DeLaina Tonks, of Draper, and Democrat Christian Burridge, of Draper.

A United Utah Party candidate, Lee Houghton, has filed to challenge incumbant Rep. Keith Grover, R-Provo, to represent District 15. Grover has filed for re-election.

A Green Party candidate, Abrian Velarde, has announced plans to challenge incumbant Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, who has not yet filed for re-election. One Democrat, Clare Collard, also has filed as a candidate for the seat.

Every seat is up for grabs in the Utah House of Representatives this November.

House Rules Chairman Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who has served in the House for 16 years, announced that he will not be seeking re-election. Controversial federal public lands critic Phil Lyman has announced he will he seek to replace Noel to represent rural voices in the Legislature.

Other retirements of House members include House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper; and Reps. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City; Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake; Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden; Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville; Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove; Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine; Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden; Rep. Edward Redd, R-Logan; Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton, who is running for Utah Senate; Curt Webb, R-Logan; and John Westwood, R-Cedar City.

Source Article