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Utah’s Republicans and Democrats to pick candidates
County conventions » Key legislative races to be decided — some with familiar rivals.

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Greene vs. Richardson vs. Stevens » Perhaps the most intriguing battle on the Republican slate Saturday, Rep. Brian Greene, of Pleasant Grove, is trying to fend off two challengers — former state Rep. Holly Richardson and John Stevens.

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Greene edged out Stevens in a 2012 Republican primary. Richardson served in the seat for a year before resigning to run former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist’s unsuccessful bid to oust U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2012.

Stevens, an area manager for the Bank of England, launched his campaign saying Greene wasn’t doing enough to represent the Pleasant Grove district. Richardson has stressed her experience on the Hill and ability to unite people.

Greene said he wasn’t surprised when they both decided to challenge him.

"They both started running against me before I even took office, so I’ve known for close to two years they were there and were going to make a run at it," he said.

"I feel comfortable with the delegates who were selected," Greene said. "I feel they’re doing a great job for the most part in conscientiously evaluating the candidates and I feel if they fairly evaluate the records of all the candidates they’ll come to the right decision."

Richardson said a change is needed. "I supported Brian last go-round, but as the last year has unfolded it has become evident that the people of [District] 57 need a choice."

The winner on the Republican side will face either Michael Plowman, development director for the Hurst Wood Education Foundation, or Jim Thorne, a pizza delivery driver.

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Snider vs. Summerhalder vs. Ellingson vs. Thurston » In Provo, it’s a four-way race to fill the vacancy created by House Speaker Becky Lockhart’s decision not to seek re-election after 16 years in office.

Norm Thurston has held senior positions in the Utah Department of Health, including health reform coordinator and currently as director of the office of health care statistics. He has lined up endorsements from prominent Republicans, such as former Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and former House Speaker Dave Clark.

Karen Ellingson is a mother of four who has been active in her local PTA and is chairwoman of the Springville Library Board.

William Snider is an account manager at Diversify, Inc., a South Jordan-based wealth management company, and a former Army sergeant stationed in Kuwait and a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard.

And Ben Summerhalder does customer service for the Boy Scouts of America.

The only Democrat who filed for the seat is Scott Ferrin, a professor at Brigham Young University.


Twitter: @RobertGehrke

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