GOP convention delegates deny straight nomination for Hillyard

While he is not opposed to congressional term limits, Sen. Lyle Hillyard says calling a constitutional convention to achieve that goal is a bad idea.

SALT LAKE CITY – Delegates to the Utah Republican Party’s first-ever virtual nominating convention denied incumbent state Sen. Lyle Hillyard of Logan the nod for his own seat in the Utah Senate.

In online voting on April 25, Hillyard received 57 percent of the votes cast in Senate District 25, falling three percentage points short of the 60 percent threshold needed to cinch the party’s nomination for the November general election.

Challenger Chris Wilson of Logan, a political newcomer, won 42 percent of the delegate votes.

Hillyard and Wilson will now face-off in the GOP state primary on June 30.

Hillyard, an attorney, was first elected to the Utah House in 1980 and joined the Senate in 1984. Over the past 36 years, he has served on numerous Senate committees and subcommittees charged with developing appropriations for state functions including government operations, infrastructure improvements, public education and law enforcement, among others.

In 2016, Hillyard ran for re-election unopposed.

Wilson, the owner of Wilson Motor Company in Logan, announced his challenge to Hillyard by saying that it was “time for a change.”

Wilson said he objected to the approach Hillyard took on tax reform during a special legislative session in December 2019. The resulting controversial tax package was repealed during the first week of the 2020 legislative session after a referendum opposing it garnered widespread voter support.

“I think it’s time for fresh ideas and a fresh approach,” Wilson added.

Utah GOP chairman Derek Brown said that the virtual nominating convention was highly successful, with 93 percent of the state’s 3,847 delegates voting online.

The GOP state primary in which Hillyard and Wilson will compete for a slot on the November general election ballot will be conducted almost exclusively by mail-in voting.

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3 Comments

  • L Allen April 27, 2020 at 8:09 am Reply

    Great news! Lyle been an excellent state senator but it time for him to let someone else serve Cache County

  • Bruce & Ann Johns April 27, 2020 at 8:24 pm Reply

    I know Senator Lyle Hillyard well. He is ethical, sharp, judicious, and willing to listen to others’ ideas. I would say that Governor Herbert and Senator Hillyard are cut out of the same cloth. I’m sorry the governor is bowing out. I’m grateful Senator Hillyard is willing to continue to serve as our representative in the Senate. I also disagreed with his position about revamping our tax structure in a hurried fashion. But that speaks more to making sure the public is being educated about options and given a chance for sufficient feedback, not about whether there was good reasoning involved in the plan. I’m confident that if I’d had a chance to sit down and hear Senator Hillyard’s reasoning and had a chance to hear his responses to concerns, I would have walked away at least understanding why he was voting as he was and, probably, would have agreed with his stance. When you have someone with the qualities of Lyle Hillyard willing to serve, you’ve got to recognize the gem you’ve got.

    • Free Bird April 28, 2020 at 6:07 pm Reply

      Are you for real? This snake tried to sneak it in during the holidays, when he thought people weren’t paying attention. If it wasn’t for the concerned taxpayers, this tax theft would of been implemented. I’m personally happy Herbert is leaving as well, maybe I will send him a mask to wear.

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