2 Utah cities finalize their recounts amid elections investigation in Cache County

Both the Logan and Hyrum city councils will have new city council members.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Logan City Hall on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Both the Logan and Hyrum city councils have finished a recount of their 2024 elections.

A pair of Cache County cities finalized their 2023 elections recounts this week, with no changes to November’s results. The new tally comes as three members of the Cache County clerk’s office remain on administrative leave due to an elections-related investigation.

Logan and Hyrum cities held their canvasses Monday afternoon to finalize and approve their city council election results. Despite more votes being tallied in each race, the overall results didn’t change.

Incumbent council members Mark Anderson and Jeannie Simmonds won their reelection for the Logan City Council and will be joined by newcomer Mike Johnson. He will replace the retiring Tom Jensen.

Simmonds narrowly beat out two challengers who were eligible for recounts — Joe Needham, a former member of the council, and Katie Lee-Koven, who filed the petition for the recount. Simmonds received 16 more votes than Needham, who bested Lee-Koven by eight ballots.

In Hyrum, incumbents Craig Rasmussen and Steve Adams won their races, along with newcomer Michael Nelson. After the recount, it was confirmed that Adams bested fellow candidate Kevin Petersen — who filed for the recount — by just six votes.

“These are the totals we got,” said Michelle Stanger, a deputy clerk in the county clerk’s office, during the Logan City Council meeting Monday. “I have 100% confidence between the lieutenant governor’s office helping us and going through (the recount process).”

Despite the seemingly successful recounts, the elections have been overshadowed by a county investigation into the clerk’s office. Three members of the office, including county clerk David Benson, were placed on administrative leave last week due to an investigation regarding elections.

A spokesperson for the Utah lieutenant governor’s office said members of the office were on hand to assist the county during the recounts last week, but declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

David Zook, the Cache County Executive, said in a text message Tuesday the investigation was still ongoing, and as of Tuesday, there were no new developments.

Correction, Dec. 20, 2023, 9:45 a.m. The Tribune updated this story to clarify the results of Logan City Council election.