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Utah elections: Weber County sheriff’s lieutenant wins seat in controversial race
First Published Nov 07 2012 12:09 am • Last Updated Nov 07 2012 12:12 am

Voters in Weber, Davis and Utah counties on Tuesday chose representatives to sit on their respective county commissions, favoring Republican candidates.

In Weber County, Matthew Bell, a lieutenant in the Weber County Sheriff’s Office who also is chairman of the county’s Republican Party, won a seat on the county commission over challenger Corey Combe — a self-described independent who ran on the Democratic ticket, according to unofficial and incomplete results.

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Controversy found Bell during the election because he was identified in a wrongful termination lawsuit as the plaintiff’s supervisor and part of an alleged network that intimidated subordinates to support one Republican candidate for sheriff over the other GOP hopeful in 2010.

Reed Richards, an attorney in the Weber County Attorney’s Office, emphasized that the allegations against Bell were not substantiated — but the issue still emerged on the campaign trail.

Bell said Tuesday he was pleased with voters’ confidence in him.

"We worked really hard and knocked on a lot of doors," Bell said, adding that one of the first tasks will be fine-tuning the county’s law-enforcement contracts with its member cities.

Larry Ellertson, a Republican who has served on Utah County’s commission since 2005, trounced Constitution candidate Larry Ballard in the heavily GOP-dominated county.

Davis County Commissioner John Petroff Jr., a small-business owner and former West Point mayor, handily secured a second four-year term Tuesday, defeating Democratic contender Steven Andersen, a retired Fortune 500 business executive who had promised to forego the job’s six-figure salary if elected.

Voters in Layton — Davis County’s largest city — appeared to have voted against Propositions 2 and 3, which dealt with the city’s new Village Center plan.




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