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South Valley Riverton Journal

Riverton precincts report similar opinions across the board in Republican Primaries

Aug 03, 2022 08:49PM ● By Michael J. Jewkes

By Michael J. Jewkes | [email protected]

Sandwiched between parades and city-wide events, the Republican primary elections took place last month. The results offer insight into not only current voter opinion, but future trends as well.

This year’s primary ballot featured candidates running for the United States Congress to candidates running for open School Board seats. Of the many federal, state and county-wide races involving the Republican party in 2022’s primary elections, three stand out as affecting Riverton residents directly.

Two federal congressional races appeared on Riverton Republican’s ballots last month: the race for a seat on the US Senate, currently held by incumbent Mike Lee; and the race for Utah’s Fourth House Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Burgess Owens.

At the county level, Salt Lake County Council’s fifth district race also appeared on the ballot featuring incumbent Steve DeBry and Riverton City Councilmember Sheldon Stewart.

Results of each race, while displaying a very clear popular opinion of Riverton voters, do not display any overall landslide victories by any means. Data from the Salt Lake County Clerk shows margins of victory stayed under 20%.


U.S. Senate

Since the beginning of the current campaign season, Sen. Mike Lee has faced opposition from a plethora of like-minded opponents. At convention, Lee faced six Republican challengers. Of those six candidates, two advanced to face Lee in the primaries that took place last month; former State Rep. Becky Edwards and Ally Isom.

Winning an election in 2018, Edwards represented House District 20 from 2009 to 2019.

Isom made her debut in the political arena with this year’s election, making it past convention to the Republican primaries.

Lee won a decisive victory over both Edwards and Isom, winning just over 50% of votes. Edwards and Isom split the remaining votes with Edwards receiving 41% and Isom receiving just over 8%.

All reporting Riverton precincts voted in favor of Lee.

Lee now faces five candidates in the general election: the Independent American Party candidate Tommy Williams, the Libertarian convention winner James Arthur Hansen, write-in Abe Korb (Independent), write-in Michael Seguin (Independent) and 2016 Presidential Candidate Evan McMullin (Independent). The Utah Democratic party did not nominate a candidate, but rather chose to back McMullin.


U.S. House District 4

In the race for Utah’s fourth district seat in Washington, incumbent Burgess Owens faced Jake Hunsaker. Owens decisively beat Hunsaker in the Republican Convention in April.

In the Republican Primaries, Owens once again beat Hunsaker with a margin of about 17% overall; however, in Riverton, the win was much more competitive.

According to Salt Lake County Clerk records, Riverton’s 31st precincts report an Owens victory margin of just six votes; furthermore, Riverton’s first precinct reported a margin of only four votes for Owens.

Owens will now face three competitors in the general elections this November: The Democratic nominee Darlene McDonald (Democrat), January Walker (United Utah Party) and write-in Jonathan Peterson (Independent).

Salt Lake County Council District 5

In a race that hits close to home, incumbent Steve DeBry faced Sheldon Stewart for the Republican nomination for Salt Lake County Council’s fifth district. Encompassing one of the reddest districts of Salt Lake County, the Republican primaries are widely regarded as more significant than the general elections in November.

Stewart finished with a convincing win over DeBry with a vote margin of 13%.

DeBry currently holds the fifth district seat in the county council. Stewart currently serves on Riverton’s city council representing District 1.

“It was a collaborative effort of a lot of residents and volunteers pounding the pavement…and getting that message out there that we want the voice of the southwest to return to the southwest,” Stewart said.

DeBry did not agree to speak with the City Journals.

Only Riverton’s eighth precinct reported a win for DeBry. All other precincts reported convincing victories for Stewart.