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Roy man who pleaded guilty to bomb plot loses mayoral primary

Published August 14, 2013 1:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Joshua Kyler Hoggan's bid to become mayor of Roy went up in smoke Tuesday night, little more than a year after pleading guilty to a failed bomb scheme.

But 45 voters, or 5 percent of the 908 voting in the mayoral primary, chose to "Vote Hoggan," and the 18-year-old Weber State University student says he was able to partially repair his reputation. Hoggan served time in juvenile detention for possessing a weapon of mass destruction in connection to a foiled bomb scheme at Roy High School in January 2012.

"I think the campaign helped dispel notions from the Roy High incident," Hoggan said. "I seized the opportunity from the publicity and tried to turn it into something good — to hopefully, over time, gain some trust back."

Incumbent Joe Ritchie led the voting with 53 percent, or 485 votes, and City Councilman Willard Cragun moves on as the runner-up with 42 percent, or 378 votes. Roy saw just a 6 percent turnout for the primary.

Hoggan says he tentatively plans to run for City Council in 2015, by which time he hopes to have distanced himself from what he sees as a youthful blunder. Campaigning largely on social media, Hoggan received Facebook messages from angry residents calling him a "dumb terrorist." But not everybody has written him off.

He is collaborating with Megan Wehrman, the Roy High student who reported the bomb plot to authorities, to create a school violence-prevention group.

When Hoggan was released from a juvenile detention facility, he reconnected with Wehrman on Facebook. Hoggan thanked her for ensuring that he got help, Wehrman said.

"What he did was simply a mistake; it doesn't make him a monster forever," she said. "He's trying his hardest at paying his dues and doing everything he can to make it right."

mpiper@sltrib.com

Twitter: @matthew_piper