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County conventions narrow list of commission hopefuls

Democrats listen to speakers at their convention in the Events Center while Republicans cast their electronic ballots at the Rio Theatre.

Sun Advocate associate editor

Carbon County Democrats will need a primary race to decide their nominee for the open county commission seat, while Republicans chose their candidate by a wide margin Friday night at their convention.

GOP hopeful Casey Hopes garnered more the 60 percent of the delegate votes in balloting at the Rio Theatre.

The tally at the Democratic convention at the Fairgrounds Event Center showed Dave Smith and Mike Johnson finished first and second in the four-way race that included Price Mayor Joe Piccolo and Kyle Edwards. Since neither Smith nor Johnson got the required 70 percent, they will face each other in the primaries June 26.

While the Republicans were conducting their electronic balloting, they heard short speeches from GOP candidates for statewide office. They included Gov. Gary Herbert, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, State Sen. David Hinkins, Jerry Anderson for Utah House of Representatives, John Dougall for Utah Auditor, and Mike Stansfield for State Senate.

Democrats heard from incumbent District 69 State Rep. Christine Watkins and her challenger Stanley Larson. Also taking the microphone were Scott Howell and Pete Ashdown, both of whom are running for a chance to oppose U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch. Other candidates speaking included Dee Smith for Attorney General, Christopher Stout for State Treasurer, and Richard Clark and Soren Simonsen, who are running for the Third Congressional seat now held by Jason Chaffetz.

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