5 Things to know about the 2014 Utah election
Utah’s statewide and national races haven’t the same drama and punch since a highly anticipated rematch in Utah’s 4th Congressional District between Republican Mia Love and U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson deflated in December when the Democratic incumbent decided against seeking re-election.
What would have been a very close race now appears to be Love’s match to lose, according to political experts. In the other congressional seats, incumbent Republicans are all running for another term in districts that tilt heavy for the GOP.
Despite the lack of drama, voters will still get a hearty serving of candidates, debates and television spots this year. Here are five things to know about the upcoming elections:
• WHEN IS THE ELECTION?
Election Day is Nov. 4. Those who want to hit the polls sooner can vote early from Oct. 21 through Oct. 31. Voters who’ve requested mail-in ballots should start receiving them in October. Voters mailing them in must make sure their ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3. They can also walk them into the polls on Election Day.
• FEDERAL RACES
Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson opted not to run again this year, leaving Republicans poised to win an all-GOP delegation in the U.S. House. If Republican Mia Love wins Matheson’s 4th Congressional District this fall, Utah would have an all-GOP delegation first time since Matheson assumed office in 2001. A Love victory would also make her the first black female Republican ever to serve in that chamber. She’s being challenged by Democrat Doug Owens, a Salt Lake City attorney and the son of the late U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens. Utah’s three other incumbent reps are all defending their seats, but each has a comfortable lead in fundraising and name recognition.
• STATEWIDE RACES
Utah’s only statewide race is a special election for the attorney general’s office. Interim attorney general Sean Reyes, a Republican, will try to win a full term in the office this November. He’s being challenged by Democrat Charles Stormont, an attorney who works in the office’s civil division. Reyes was appointed to the post in December after the resignation of John Swallow. Swallow stepped down amid multiple investigations and allegations of wrongdoing. He’s since been charged with 13 counts of bribery and other charges. He’s not entered a plea, but he denies any wrongdoing.
• LEGISLATIVE AND LOCAL RACES
Most of Utah’s statehouse is up for election this year. In the state Senate, voters will cast ballots for 14 of 29 districts. In the state House, all 75 seats are up for election. In both chambers, about a dozen legislators have decided not run again, leaving the race open.
• WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE ELECTION DAY?
Campaign billboards and television ads should start rolling out in the next few weeks. In Utah’s 4th Congressional District, both Love and Owens have spent a combined half a million dollars on television ads set to drop in September and air until Election Day. Beyond political advertising, voters can tune into five televised debates put on by the newly formed Utah Debate Commission. The five debates, running from late September to mid-October, will be held for Utah’s four congressional districts and the attorney general’s race.