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Utah's political parties to prune candidates
Politics » Conventions to determine GOP, Dems’ nominees.

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Other congressional races • Republicans and Democrats also have convention contests in the 1st Congressional District, where incumbent Rep. Rob Bishop is seeking a seventh term against David Yu-Lin Chiu.

At a glance

On Saturday

» Utah Republican Convention, 10 a.m., South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., in Sandy.

» Utah Democratic Convention, 10:30 a.m., Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Temple, in Salt Lake City.

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On the Democratic side, former Democratic nominee Donna McAleer — a West Point graduate, business executive and former world-class bobsledder — has been in a hotly contested race with Ogden physician Peter Clemens. McAleer has raised nearly $80,000 this cycle and spent $37,600. Clemens raised about $70,000 and spent about $14,600.

In the other two U.S. House districts, only Republicans face convention contests.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is seeking a fourth term in the 3rd Congressional District against photographer/entrepreneur Mark Hedengren and software entrepreneur Robert Stevens.

In the 2nd Congressional District, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, is seeking a second term against former prosecutor Larry Meyers, former radio producer Vaughn Hatton and Zachary Hartman,managing director of a real-estate company.

Democratic chairman • Former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and Brigham Young University political scientist Richard Davis are vying to become chairman of the Utah Democratic Party, replacing Jim Dabakis, who stepped down for health concerns.

Corroon has stressed his experience, while Davis said he may help attract more Mormons to the party.

"I have run a government and have run several campaigns," Corroon said recently, adding that his experience on his losing gubernatorial campaign helped him know Democrats around the state, and he seeks "a 29-county plan to ensure the statewide party is giving counties the tools they need."

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Davis said that, as a BYU professor, he is well positioned to continue sounding a message from Dabakis "that you can be LDS and a Democrat. Well, I embody that. I think I can say to Utah voters who are LDS, ‘Look, it is possible to do. You don’t have to be non-LDS or liberal. Democrats have a big tent.’ "

Legislature • A dozen multicounty legislative races — 11 Republican and one Democratic — will also be up for convention votes. Legislative races for seats entirely within one county were previously narrowed by county conventions.

One of the more interesting contests is in House District 69, where incumbent Rep. Jerry Anderson, R-Price, faces a challenge by former Rep. Christine Watkins (who switched to the GOP after serving as a Democrat) and Roosevelt car dealer Bill Labrum — who has outraised both the current and former lawmaker.

The winner among them will face yet another former state representative, Democrat Brad King.

Two GOP convention races could determine final winners, because no candidates from other parties are running.

That includes a contest between incumbent Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, and former Sen. Casey Anderson. The other is for the House seat of retiring Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, between rancher Scott Chew and optician Tod Tesar.

Several other incumbents faces challenges Saturday, including state Sens. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, and Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City; and Reps. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, John Westwood, R-Cedar City, and Kraig Powell, R-Heber City.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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