Few municipalities to participate in upcoming primary balloting

Under recent changes to Utah election laws, voting in both the upcoming primary and general elections will be conducted primarily by mail-in balloting.

CACHE COUNTY – Only a handful of Cache County’s 19 communities will be participating in upcoming municipal primary balloting on Aug. 10.

Those local cities are Lewiston, Logan, North Logan, Smithfield and Trenton, according to Cache County Clerk Jess Bradfield.

Successful candidates for the positions of mayor and city council members in the remaining 14 local communities will be determined in municipal balloting on Nov. 2.

In Lewiston, residents will choose between six candidates for three city council seats in the primary. They are Regan Wheeler, Sigrid R. Roderer, Brenda K. Link, John H. Morrison, Kade B. Tarbet and Ned K. Simpler.

Jeff W. Hall and K. Roy Hall are seeking to replace outgoing Mayor Kelly Field as mayor of Lewiston. The outcome of that contest will be determined during the Nov. 2 municipal election.

In Logan, the Aug. 10 primary balloting will determine which of three mayoral candidates will advance to the November municipal election. They are incumbent Mayor Holly Daines and challengers Dee Jones and R. Lowell Huber.

Three candidates have also filed for two at-large Logan City Council seats. They are incumbents Amy Z. Anderson and Ernesto López with challenger Keegan Garrity. The winners of that contest will be determined during the November general election.

In North Logan, voters will trim a field of five candidates for two city council seats during the primary balloting. In the running are Brad Crookston, Bruce W. Lee, Emily Schmidt, Darrin Buttery and Joni Kartchner.

Lindsay Peterson and Chris Nelson are also seeking to replace outgoing Mayor Damon Cann in North Logan. Residents there will select their new mayor during the November general election.

Two city council seats are also in contention in the adjacent community of Smithfield where Bart Caley, Jamie Anderson, Sue Hyer, Wade C. Campbell and Andrew Lillywhite have filed as hopefuls.

While Aug. 10 primary balloting will trim that field of council candidates, the outcome of the race between incumbent Mayor Jeffrey H. Barnes and challenger Kris Monson will be determined in the November general election.

For a refreshing change, it is the mayoral race in Trenton that has become a crowded affair. During the upcoming primary balloting, residents there will choose two candidates to advance to the November municipal election. In the running are incumbent Mayor Lynn G. Payne and challengers Deyette K. Bradley and Rachelle Ludwinski.

The fate of three candidates for Trenton city council will wait until the Nov. 2 balloting. They are Cortney Andrew, Kyle Kingston and Stephanie Merrill.

Bradfield says that three local communities are exempt from participating in primary balloting because they have opted to take advantage of recent changes to state election law by using ranked choice voting in their municipal elections on Nov. 2.

They are Newton, Nibley and River Heights.

Legislation passed during the 2021 general session of the Legislature gave Utah municipalities the option to use ranked choice voting as a form of instant run-off in local elections.

In a ranked choice balloting system, the voters rank all candidates by preference on their ballots.

If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated.

First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are then eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots.

A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. That process is continued until a single candidate achieves an outright majority.

Bradfield says that the outcomes of mayoral and city council races in 11 other local communities will be determined during the Nov. 2 general election.

Under recent changes to Utah election laws, voting in both the upcoming primary and general elections will be conducted primarily through mail-in balloting.

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