Utah elections: Most incumbents re-elected in Utah Legislature
Elections Tuesday were bittersweet for Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, and his wife, Josie Valdez.
Wheatley won re-election to the Utah House, but Valdez lost her bid for the state Senate Â so the pair missed becoming the first-ever husband-wife team elected at the same time to the Utah Legislature.
That came as most legislative races appeared to go as expected, with all but one incumbent winning or ahead in their races. The lone exception was Rep. Christine Watkins, D-Price, who lost by a 51-49 margin to Republican Jerry Anderson.
Republicans appeared to retain and widen their huge majorities in both houses in the first election after redistricting.
Before the election, Republicans held a 22-7 edge in the Senate and a 58-17 majority in the House.
Incomplete and unofficial election results showed Republicans likely would hold a 24-5 majority in the Senate, based on races they won or where they held significant leads.
In the House, Republicans appeared headed to 61-14 edge, based on races they won or where they held significant leads.
One race, House District 30 in West Valley City, pitted two incumbents against each other. Democrat Janice Fisher beat Republican Fred Cox by a 52-48 margin.
Rep. Carol Moss, D-Holladay, survived a close race by a 52-48 margin to Republican Anne-Marie Lampropoulos, who had taken the unusual and expensive step for a legislative race of advertising on television and radio.
In some other close races:
• Rep. Larry Wiley, D-West Valley, slipped by Republican Fred Johnson by a 51-49 percent margin.
• Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, survived by a 52-48 margin against Democrat Celina Milner.
• Rep. Dixon Pitcher, R-Ogden, beat Christopher Winn by a 54-46 margin.
• Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, won by a 54-46 margin over Gary Forbush.
• Republican Craig Hall beat Democrat Liz Muniz by a 51-49 margin in a seat that had been held by Rep. Neal Hendrickson, D-West Valley, whom Muniz defeated in the primary.
Even before general election voting began, Republicans had managed to win 13 legislative races in districts where their nominees were unopposed. In six other races, Republicans faced opposition from only minor-party candidates and were nearly certain to win them.