SALT LAKE CITY – The 12-way pile-up of Republican candidates vying to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop in Congress has finally been reduced.
Following online voting by delegates to the GOP state nominating convention on April 25, just four of those candidates will advance to the state primary on June 30.
Political veteran Kerry Gibson of Ogden won 53.3 percent of the delegates’ votes in successive rounds of computer-assisted ranked choice voting. Newcomer Blake David Moore of Ogden also emerged from the candidate pack, earning 43.2 percent of the delegates’ votes.
Rival candidates Mayor Katie Witt of Kaysville and Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson will join Gibson and Moore on the primary ballot by virtue of having collected the signatures of 7,000 registered voters each.
The remaining eight candidates were eliminated during 10 rounds of ranked choice voting facilitated by the proprietary Voatz software application.
Using the Voatz application, the GOP delegates to the nomination convention ranked all 12 candidates in their order of preference from favorite to least favorite on their electronic ballots.
The Voatz’ application then eliminated the lowest-ranking candidates and reallocated the votes of their supporters to second choices. That shuffling process continued until two final candidates emerged.
The eliminated candidates were Tina Cannon, Doug Durbano, Howard Wallack, Mark Shepherd, Chadwick Fairbanks III, Zack Hartman, JC DeYoung and Catherine Brenchley Hammon.
The GOP hopefuls’ Democratic rivals are also slated to compete for their party’s nomination in the state primary on June 30.
Candidates Darren Parry of Logan and Jamie Cheek of Ogden emerged from the Democratic nominating convention on April 25 with indecisive vote totals of 55 percent and 44 percent respectively.