Republican primary for Salt Lake County Council; Rep. Mascaro out

Published April 24, 2010 5:59 pm
Politics » Moderate state lawmaker defeated by conservative rival.
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Salt Lake County Republicans set the stage Saturday for a June 22 primary for the countywide Council seat and one legislative race.

Winston Wilkinson will face Richard Snelgrove for the countywide Council nomination. And state Rep. Merlynn Newbold, R-South Jordan, will have a primary against Steven Roberts, a fleet manager for the LDS Church.

Meanwhile, delegates meeting at the South Towne Expo Center rejected incumbent state Rep. Steve Mascaro, R-West Jordan, who had a reputation as a moderate. Instead, 77 percent of the delegates nominated Ken Ivory to the House District 47 seat.

Wilkinson, nominated by West Valley Mayor Mike Winder, said that his life experiences have taught him to stand up for what is right.

"Democrats believe they own this seat," said Wilkinson, a Maryland native and self-described solid conservative. "We must send them a message that Republicans have had enough of their tax-and-spend attitude and we're taking control of the County Council back."

Richard Snelgrove -- former Gov. Olene Walker's pick for the seat -- was nominated by Beau Babka, a Republican convert who is running for County Sheriff against Democrat incumbent Jim Winder.

Snelgrove spoke out against Unified Police Department fees and a taxpayer-funded hotel in Salt Lake City.

"Because of excessive government spending at every level," Snelgrove said, "the quality of life for the next generation is threatened."

In House District 47, in southwest Salt Lake County, delegates overwhelming voted for change by handing a thumping defeat to Mascaro.

"I'm glad I got to serve my community for nine years," the legislator said Saturday afternoon. However, he voiced grave concerns about the direction the new crop of Legislative candidates will head if elected in November.

"As I talked to delegates and asked them what it was about my voting record they did not like, never once could they name a policy or specific laws," Mascaro said. "They said they just needed to make some changes."

Mascaro acknowledged the far-right wing of Utah's GOP questions whether he and other moderates are even Republicans. And several centrist lawmakers have either resigned or have chosen not to seek re-election, he added.

"But the reality is, every survey ever done shows that the majority of Utahns are just right of center," Mascaro said, lamenting that a further tilt to the right on Capitol Hill could leave many without representation.

Ivory, an attorney, had the endorsements of a long list of conservative Republicans, including a number of his colleagues in the Legislature and Congressman Jason Chaffetz. He styles himself as a protector of states' rights against federal encroachment and big government.

In Council District 1, 65 percent of the delegates nominated Steve Harmsen over Gordon Gurr. Harmsen will face the Democrat that emerges from June's primary between Cal Noyce and Arlyn Bradshaw.

In the countywide Council race, Wilkinson, a one-time councilman and former civil-rights chief for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, captured 45 percent of the delegate vote. Former state and county party chairman Snelgrove snapped up 55 percent.

The primary winner will go on to face Democratic nominee and former journalist Holly Mullen. The Council seat is an open one, vacated by the retirement of Jenny Wilson.

In the county Treasurer's race, Wayne Cushing crushed competitors Chad Bennion and Phil Conder to take the Republican nomination. He will face Democrat Bill Anderson in the November general election.

Current Treasurer Larry Richardson did not seek re-election.

In House District 42, Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, won the nomination with 70 percent of the delegate vote to Myron Burnett's 30 percent.


Republican primary for Salt Lake County Council; Rep. Mascaro out

Salt Lake County Republicans

County Council District B

Richard Snelgrove 55.3 percent

Winston Wilkinson 44.7 percent

County Council No. 1

Steve Harmsen 65 percent

Gordon Gurr 35 percent


Wayne Cushing 62.88 percent

Phil Conder 18.59 percent

Chad Bennion 15.97 percent


District 22: Noel Fields 74.36 percent,

Adam Peeples 25.64 percent.

District 26: Seth Wright 84.62 percent

Tom Vasiliou 15.38 percent.

District 29: Shirene Saddler 100 percent

District 31: Grace Sperry 87 percent

Ryan Zumwalt 13 percent

District 36: Jason Epps 91 percent

Robert Book, 9 percent

District 37: Margrethe Peterson 67.4 percent

Linda Cooper 32.6 percent

District 42: Jim Bird (i) 69.7 percent

Myron Burnett 30.3 percent

District 46: William Clayton 61 percent

Ben Derrick 39 percent

District 47: Ken Ivory 77 percent

Steven Mascaro (i) 23 percent

District 48: Lavar Christensen

*District 50: Steven Roberts 54.55 percent

Merlynn Newbold (i) 45.55 percent

*Goes to June 22 primary

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