Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love and former state Rep. Carl Wimmer received the most votes on the first round of voting for the GOP nomination in the 4th Congressional District and will move to a head-to-head showdown.
Each argued they were the Republican candidate with the best shot at unseating six-term Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in November.
Love received 53 percent of the delegate vote on the first ballot, Wimmer received 31 percent. If either candidate gets 60 percent on the final round of balloting, he or she will win the nomination. If not, they will advance to a primary.
Love said that Utahns don’t believe that the federal government should run schools, control land, regulate business and require citizens to buy health care "by force." But Matheson, she said, didn’t oppose federal encroachment in those areas.
"He betrayed our values," she said.
"The message of the Democrats is that the American dream is over. The government is all you have. Give up your dreams and the government will save you," she said. "We know here in Utah that none of that is true."
Wimmer said delegates asked him if he can beat Matheson.
"I believe that is the wrong question. The right question is can Jim Matheson beat me?" he said. "Jim Matheson and his liberal cronies in Washington don’t understand one truth: There is nothing the American people will not sacrifice … to protect the American dream for our children and grandchildren."
Kenneth Gray, former state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, and attorney Jay Cobb were eliminated in the first round of voting.
Sandstrom had pitched himself as a complete candidate, with experience as a Marine, a state legislator and business owner.
"I am the only candidate in this race with a full range of experience to deliver the results we need," Sandstrom said.
-- Robert Gehrke
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