WASHINGTON TERRACE – The candidate selection process for the 2022 election cycle is proceeding quickly and the Weber County Republican Party is hosting a series of forums starting Tuesday to help raise hopefuls.
The rallies, from Tuesday to Pleasant Valley Branch Library in Washington Terrace, are primarily aimed at Republican Party delegates from Weber County, who hold a nominating agreement on March 26 to choose their favorite prospects. But the general public is invited, said Jake Sawyer, county party chairman.
“It’s for delegates, but they’re definitely open to anyone who wants to go meet candidates,” Sawyer said. All Weber County Republican candidates have been invited, and the hopefuls in attendance will have a space where they can set up a table to meet visitors one-on-one.
Among the goals for Weber County GOP delegates on March 26 will be races for two seats on the Weber County Commission, the race for the District 10 seat in the Utah House, the contest for the sheriff of the Weber County and running for District 2 position on the Utah State Board of Education.
“Ask questions. Ask tough questions,” Sawyer said, alluding to the three candidate forums planned. “Now is the time for people to get to know the candidates.”
Tuesday’s rally at the Washington Terrace Library, 5568 Adams Ave., begins at 6:30 p.m. with another to be held Thursday at the Southwest Branch Library at 2039 W. 4000 South in Roy, also beginning at 6:30 p.m. A third forum will be held on March 23 beginning at 6:30 p.m., again at the Pleasant Valley branch library.
Many races are on the ballot this cycle, from the U.S. Senate position now held by Mike Lee to multiple seats on the Weber and Ogden school boards. The races that will be the focus of the March 26 Weber County Republican Party convention are those with multiple GOP nominees for positions serving county-only jurisdictions.
Delegates will vote on their preferences, selecting the candidates they want in the June 28 Republican primary ballot, despite efforts by some hopefuls to get elected via collecting signatures on petitions.
The March 26 convention will be held at Weber High School in Pleasant View. The competitions that will attract attention will be the races for:
The headquarters of District 10 Utah House: Lorraine Brown and Jill Koford are both running as Republicans, hoping to unseat Rosemary Lesser, the incumbent Democrat. The district covers parts of South Ogden and South Ogden and extends to other locations in southern Weber County.
The headquarters of the Utah District 2 School Board: Four GOPers are vying for the seat, including incumbent Scott Hansen as well as Craig Pitts, Lewis Johnson and Joseph Kerry. Adi Finsen, a Democrat, is also a candidate. District 2 covers nearly all of Weber County.
Departmental commission, seat A: Incumbent Gage Froerer, a Republican, faces a challenge from fellow GOPer Shanna Francis. John Thompson is running as a Democrat.
County Commission, Seat B: Four GOPers are vying for the seat: Sharon Bolos, Phil Swanson, Bill Olson and Bren Edwards. Brian Rowley, a libertarian, is also a candidate for the post, now held by Scott Jenkins, a Republican not seeking re-election.
County Sheriff: Holder Ryan Arbon faces a challenge from Kevin Burns. Both are Republicans and no one else is on the ballot.
Departmental clerk-auditor: Holder Ricky Hatch faces a challenge from Toby Mileski. Both are Republicans and no one else is on the ballot.
Several other races for positions that cover parts of Weber County but also cross over to other counties, including several Utah House seats, are also on the ballot this cycle. Republicans will select the preferred candidates in these races, if necessary, at the Republican Party of Utah State Convention set for April 23.
The Weber County Republican Party’s convention rules give the advantage to candidates seeking a spot on the primary ballot only by convention, not by petition. Regardless, a number of candidates have declared their intent to solicit primary voting spots by petition, as permitted by state law.
Brown, the Utah House District 10 candidate, and Bolos, the county commission hopeful, both followed the path of the petition and garnered enough signatures to make it to the primary ballot, according to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office website.
Mileski, the clerk-auditor candidate, also said he intended to collect signatures but still did not have enough as of Monday, according to the lieutenant governor’s website. Bren Edwards, the county commission nominee, initially declared his intention to collect signatures, but later withdrew it.
The Weber County Democratic Party will hold its convention on April 9. Even so, no individual race in the county features multiple Democratic hopefuls.