Spencer Cox and John Curtis win in Utah’s two biggest 2024 GOP primary elections, early results show

These are the early, unofficial results from the 2024 Utah primary elections.

Within an hour of polls closing, Utah’s two highest-profile Republican primaries appeared to have been decided.

Gov. Spencer Cox was poised to nab the Republican nomination for a second term, while U.S. Rep. John Curtis was on his way to victory in the GOP primary to vie for Mitt Romney’s Senate seat.

As of 9:15 p.m., according to early, unofficial returns, Cox led challenger Phil Lyman with 58.91% of the vote.

“I continue to work really hard to tell people the truth about who we are and what the state is about,” Cox said. “And we always believe that in the end, truth will win, and we proved that again tonight.”

Lyman, meanwhile, said he was “not going to concede” Tuesday as he waits for more results from rural counties. He had barely chipped away at Cox’s earlier lead as of 10:30 p.m., with all but one county having reported early results.

Cox will face Democratic state Rep. Brian King in November.

U.S. Senate

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) U.S. Sen. candidate John Curtis stands on stage with his family during an election watch party in Provo on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

In the race for Romney’s seat, Curtis led the four-way contest with 51.54% of the vote as of 10:30 p.m., unofficial returns showed. He was outpacing former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, Moxie Pest CEO Jason Walton and Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and Utah GOP delegates.

Only Walton had conceded Tuesday night. Curtis will face Democrat Caroline Gleich in the general election.

Congressional races

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) 3rd Congressional District candidate Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, attends a primary election party in Sandy, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

As of Tuesday night, two of Utah’s three congressional GOP primaries were decided.

State Sen. Mike Kennedy captured a plurality of the vote in a five-way contest for Curtis’s 3rd Congressional District.

By the end of Tuesday, according to early returns, he had secured 36.17% of the vote, outpacing Roosevelt Mayor JR Bird, entrepreneur Case Lawrence, state Auditor John Dougall and Stewart Peay. He will face Democrat Glenn J. Wright in the general election.

In the GOP primary for Utah’s 1st Congressional District, incumbent Blake Moore was coasting toward victory in a race against challenger Paul Miller, capturing more than 72% of the vote, according to early, unofficial returns. Moore will face Democratic challenger Bill Campbell.

The margins were closer in the GOP contest for the Beehive State’s 2nd District. Six-month incumbent Celeste Maloy held a slim lead over challenger Colby Jenkins, capturing 51.85% of early returns. The winner will compete against Democrat Nathaniel Woodward in the general election.

State races

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah attorney general candidate Derek Brown attends a primary election party in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

In the Republican primary to replace embattled Attorney General Sean Reyes, who announced late last year that he would not seek another term, Derek Brown secured a narrow victory over Rachel Terry and Frank and Frank Mylar.

As of late Tuesday, early returns showed, Brown had captured 45.77% of the vote, enough for Brown to declare victory.

Brown will take on Democratic nominee Rudy Bautista, United Utah Party candidate Michelle Quist, Libertarian nominee Andrew McCullough and unaffiliated candidate Austin Hepworth in the November general election. (Quist is a former columnist and former member of The Salt Lake Tribune’s editorial board.)

Early results in the GOP contest for state auditor showed Tina Cannon, a top deputy for Dougall, with a 14-point lead over Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch. Cannon will advance to the general election to face Democratic nominee Catherine Voutaz and Constitution Party nominee Jeffrey Ostler.

In a contentious Republican race for Utah State Board of Education’s District 13, which represents part of Utah County, incumbent Randy Boothe was outpacing challenger Cari Bartholomew with 56% of the vote.

The race for District 13 is one of two contests that will be decided by primary voters. The other is District 15, which covers Piute, Wayne, Kane, Washington, Garfield and San Juan counties. Challenger Joann Brinton leads Kristan Norton with 63.22% of the vote, early results show.

Editor’s note: What follows is The Tribune’s live blog for Utah’s primary election.

10:20 p.m. Brown declares victory

Derek Brown declared victory as the Republican nominee for attorney general at a watch party Tuesday night. As of 10 p.m., Brown leads Rachel Terry and Frank Demcy Mylar with 45.91% of votes with 25 of 29 counties reporting.

Brown will take on Democratic nominee Rudy Bautista, United Utah Party candidate Michelle Quist, Libertarian nominee Andrew McCullough and unaffiliated candidate Austin Hepworth in the November general election.

Watch reporter Robert Gehrke’s final remarks from Gov. Spencer Cox and Brown’s Tuesday night watch party:

Read more about the attorney general race here.

9:52 p.m. State Sen. Mike Kennedy cinches GOP nomination for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District

State Sen. Mike Kennedy is the likely winner of the Republican nomination to replace Rep. John Curtis in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, early results show.

At 9:45 p.m., Kennedy led with 34.03% of votes in the five-way race, with 10 of 11 counties reporting.

Read more about that race here.

9:30 p.m.: While Gov. Spencer Cox seems poised to beat Phil Lyman in GOP race for governor, Lyman says he won’t concede

As of 9:15 p.m., Gov. Spencer Cox led challenger Phil Lyman with 58.91% of votes, with 23 of 29 counties reporting. However, Lyman said Tuesday night, “I’m not going to concede tonight,” as he waits for results from more rural counties.

Reporter Emily Anderson Stern checks in from Lyman’s watch party:

Read more about that race here.

Early voting results also showed Curtis was likely to win Utah’s U.S. Senate GOP primary. The race was called about an hour after polls closed, with Curtis leading delegate-favorite Trent Staggs 52.24% to 28.25%.

Read more about the race here.

The race for the Republican nomination in s Utah’s 2nd District was still too close to call, as of 9:15 p.m. Rep. Celeste Maloy maintained a narrow lead over Colby Jenkins, with 51.81% of the vote with 10 of 13 counties reporting.

Read more about that race here.

8:55 p.m.: Early returns show Tina Cannon leading in state auditor race

Tina Cannon is leading Ricky Hatch in early returns in the race to become the Republican nominee for state auditor, replacing John Dougall, who is running for Congress in Utah’s 3rd District. Cannon held a roughly 13-point lead with 56.73% of votes. More details here.

8:50 p.m.: Derek Brown takes early lead in attorney general’s race

A three-way battle to be the Republican nominee to replace Attorney General Sean Reyes came down to the wire Tuesday, with Derek Brown taking an early lead over Rachel Terry in early returns. Frank Mylar was trailing.

As of 8:30 p.m., Brown had received 45.17% of the vote, to 34.79% for Terry and 20.03% for Mylar. That’s from 13 of 29 counties reporting official early returns.

Read more about the race here.

8:49 p.m.: Gov. Spencer Cox poised to win GOP nomination for governor

Unofficial results from eight Utah counties show Gov. Spencer Cox has clinched the Republican nomination for governor, defeating Phil Lyman with 59.98% of votes. Read more here.

8:39 p.m.: Sen. Mike Kennedy leading nominee in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District

Early results are showing state Sen. Mike Kennedy is ahead in the five-way competition for the Republican nomination in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. Kennedy led with 30.7% of the vote. Check here for more details.

8:35 p.m.: Race called for Rep. Blake Moore

Utah Rep. Blake Moore blew away the competition, clinching the Republican nomination in Utah’s 1st Congressional District soon after early, unofficial results dropped Tuesday evening. Read more about the race here.

8:32 p.m.: Rep. John Curtis leads in U.S. Senate GOP primary

Rep. John Curtis has taken an early lead in the U.S. Senate primary race, according to unofficial early returns. Curtis leads delegate-favorite Trent Staggs 53.5% to 26.36%.

Read more here.

8:30 p.m.: Gov. Spencer Cox has early lead over Phil Lyman

Early, unofficial results show Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has the lead over challenger Phil Lyman to be the Republican nominee for governor.

Tribune reporter Robert Gehrke checks in from Cox’s election watch party. Cox hasn’t made an appearance yet, but he’s set to arrive soon.

8:15 p.m.: Poll close, early results roll in

Polls have closed and the first unofficial voting results are in from tonight’s primary election. It’s still too early to call most races, but check out results so far here.

6:15 p.m.: Unusually low early-voter turnout in Utah County

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Nisha Collette casts her votes with her 6-month-old son Winston at the Joseph D. Adams Public Safety Building in Lehi on Saturday, June 25, 2024.

Monday night the state elections office gave us the last update on voter turnout until polls close Tuesday night, and there was one county that stood out — the normally robust Utah County had the state’s lowest percentage of ballots processed at 16.6%.

There are a couple possible explanations for that.

One is that Utah County Clerk Aaron Davidson, who has expressed doubts about the security of vote-by-mail, decided to require voters to attach a stamp to the ballot, rather than pre-paying the postage like other counties — even though the county commission had given his office funding, which he had requested, to pay for the postage.

(If you live in Utah County and didn’t put postage on your ballot, don’t worry. It will still be delivered and counted.)

But there are other factors, according to Utah County Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner, who was county clerk and ran elections in the county before running for the commission.

“I think the postage could absolutely be a part of it,” Powers Gardner said, “but it’s that combined with the fact that the Utah County Republican Party is telling people not to vote by mail.”

Some precinct chairs have even passed out flyers telling people not to vote by mail, and the clerk has discouraged mail-in voting, she said.

“It’s kind of a different message than the rest of the state is getting. The rest of the state is being told, ‘Return your ballot, return your ballot, return your ballot,’” Powers Gardner said.

Powers Gardner said it’s possible that there will be an election ay surge in voting, but she worries that busy parents might not get their ballots in — particularly moms.

Before vote-by-mail was implemented in Utah, the Beehive state ranked last in the national for eligible female voter participation, she said. After mail-in voting was put in place, Utah moved up to the middle of the pack.

5:45 p.m.: How to follow along

Utah’s 2024 primary elections polls are closing in just about 2 hours — at 8 p.m. — so get out and vote if you haven’t already.

Here at The Salt Lake Tribune’s headquarters, we expect to be seeing early returns in the busy primary shortly after polls close. In the meantime, we’ve got Tribune reporters and photojournalists at watch parties across the Wasatch Front, keeping tabs on results and reactions.

Here’s a look at the polls in Riverton from photographer Trent Nelson:

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Citizens vote at Riverton City Hall on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Citizens vote at Riverton City Hall on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

We’ll post updates throughout the evening on our Twitter at @sltrib, on Instagram at @sltrib and on Facebook at The Salt Lake Tribune. And of course right here on this website.

If you can’t get enough, follow Robert Gehrke (@RobertGehrke) for dispatches from Gov. Spencer Cox’s watch party, plus attorney general candidate Derek Brown and 3rd Congressional District candidate Case Lawrence.

Bryan Schott (@SchottHappens) is following Rep. John Curtis bid for Republican’s U.S. Senate nomination

We’ve also got Emily Anderson Stern (@emilyreanderson) keeping an eye on Republican gubernatorial hopeful Phil Lyman’s bid to unseat Cox. Lyman will be watching results from the home of a former wannabe Real Housewife of Salt Lake City, who stopped appearing on the show after backlash for attending the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Anderson Stern may also clone herself (or something like it) to give us updates on state Rep. Mike Kennedy and other candidates running to replace Curtis in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District.

Last, we’ve got Abby Gray reporting on 2nd Congressional District incumbent Rep. Celeste Maloy’s reelection bid. She’s also keeping an eye on Trent Staggs, who GOP delegates nominated to be their champion in Utah’s U.S. Senate race.

5:30 a.m.: Primary elections are underway

Today is your last chance to vote in Utah’s 2024 primary elections and it’s critical to note that you CANNOT drop your mail-in ballot in the mail today. It will not be counted.

You’ll need to either go and vote in person — if that’s an option in your county — or drop your ballot into a ballot drop box. You can find those locations by going to votesearch.utah.gov and typing in your address.

As of Monday night, county clerks around the state reported that they had processed nearly a quarter of the ballots that were mailed out. That has already surpassed turnout in some past primaries and obviously a lot more will be added to that by the time polls close tonight at 8 p.m.

San Juan County is still tops among Utah’s 29 counties, with about 44% of the ballots mailed out already returned and processed. Utah County is the lowest with less than 17% completed.

And if you’re a Republican looking at your ballot, you might be thinking, “Wow, that’s quite a few races this time around.” You’d be right. It has been exceptionally rare to have a race for governor, U.S. Senate, attorney general and three House races on a single ballot.

The closest comparison might be four years ago when there was a race for governor, attorney general and three House races — but no Senate contest that year. Back in 2004, there was a governor and two House races on the GOP ballot. Point being, there is no shortage of high-profile races on the Republican side this year.

The Salt Lake Tribune will be reporting live during primary election day. Check back here for updates and results.

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