Gov. Herbert to collect signatures for primary election spot

National Governors Association (NGA) Chair, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert gives a 'State of the States' address, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Gary Herbert plans to earn a spot on the Utah 2016 Republican primary election ballot by gathering signatures in addition to participating in the traditional caucus and convention.

The Deseret News reports ( ) Hebert on Friday submitted a notice of intent with the lieutenant governor’s office to collect signatures. He must collect 28,000 Republican voter signatures by early April to guarantee a spot on the primary ballot.

The 2014 law called SB 54 allows candidates to bypass a caucus and convention system by gathering signatures and competing in primary elections.

His GOP opponent Jonathan Johnson says he is sticking with the caucus and convention process. He has criticized the governor’s plan to collect signatures.

Democrat Vaughn Cook is the only other candidate for governor who has made official plans to go the signature route.

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