Utah senators' cash going to incumbent instead of ex-colleague
Former state Sen. Casey Anderson came within one vote of ousting incumbent Sen. Evan Vickers at the Utah Republican Convention. But legislators and Gov. Gary Herbert are now siding with Vickers through their donations.
They helped Vickers, R-Cedar City, raise an overall total of $81,114 11 times more than Anderson's $7,445 and the most of any legislative candidate competing in Tuesday's primary election, according to disclosure forms filed Tuesday.
A former House member, Vickers unseated Anderson in a primary two years ago. Their rematch next week should determine the final winner in that Senate race because no Democrat or third-party candidates filed.
Disclosure forms show that 11 senators (including retiring Democrat Pat Jones) donated in the race, all to Vickers, giving him a combined $10,100. The Republican Senate Campaign Committee handed Vickers another $10,500.
The governor's leadership political-action committee kicked in $1,000, and three Utah House members gave Vickers a combined $1,050.
For his part, Anderson received no donations from his former political colleagues.
"Senators tend to support their colleague, so that's not surprising," said Anderson, who pointed to support he got from them two years ago as the incumbent.
Vickers also collected $25,451 from businesses and special-interest PACs, compared to the $1,010 that Anderson raised from such groups.
All those contributions, along with "40 or 50 donations from local people in my district," Vickers said, " ... show I have broad-based support."
"I built relationships in the Legislature with my colleagues in the Senate, my former colleagues in the House and the governor," he said. "They respect me and what I have done."
Anderson, meanwhile, said he did not solicit any of his donations except two. "I have not been raising money. That's not something I want to do ... because when you receive money, you are beholden to them."
Tuesday's primary ballots will feature seven legislative races six Republican and one Democratic. Four incumbents, including Vickers, face intraparty challengers.
Rep. Dana Layton, R-Orem, is the only incumbent behind in fundraising. She faces a rematch from two years ago with former Rep. Brad Daw. Layton has raised $14,939 to Daw's $19,957.
Rep. John Westwood, R-Cedar City, has amassed $14,779, four times more than challenger Blake Cozzens' $3,751. Newly appointed Rep. Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden, raised $7,745 compared with Dan Deuel's $5,628.
In a tight race financially for the seat of retiring Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, Republican Chet Loftis gathered $29,004 to Raymond Ward's $22,199.
In a Republican matchup to see who will face Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, Jacquie Nielsen raised $5,183 to George Chapman's $1,224.
In the lone Democratic legislative primary, to determine who will take on Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, Chrystal Butterfield garnered $1,231 while Elias McGraw reported raising nothing.
Fundraising totals in legislative primary races
Senate 28 (Cedar City, GOP) • Sen. Evan Vickers, $81,114; former Sen. Casey Anderson, $7,445.
House 60 (Orem, GOP) • Rep. Dana Layton, $14,939; former Rep. Brad Daw, $19,957.
House 72 (Iron County, GOP) • Rep. John Westwood, $14,780; Blake Cozzens, $3,751.
House 7 (Ogden area, GOP) • Rep. Justin Fawson, $7,745; Dan Deuel, $5,628.
House 19 (Bountiful, GOP) • Chet Loftis, $29,004; Raymond Ward, $22,199.
Senate 2 (Salt Lake City, GOP) • Jacquie Nielsen, $5,183; George Chapman, $1,224.
House 38 (Kearns, Democratic) • Chrystal Butterfield, $1,231; Elias McGraw, $0.