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An Entirely Predictable Primary? Not so Fast!

An Entirely Predictable Primary? Not so Fast!
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jun 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-27 09:18:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- While there was a lot of talk of tough battles before Utah's party primaries, the end results met expectations like an electoral to-do list in all but one major race.

1. Mitt Romney in a landslide? Check. Romney took about 93% of the Republican votes in Utah. No one else was running, of course, but still an astonishing number.

2. Senator Orrin Hatch still ruling the roost? Check. After what seemed like the fight of his life, turns out Utah Republicans by and large are OK with the senior senator. Liljenquist told Fox 13, win or lose, he was happy with the race and said, "I'm just 37 years old. I'm going to stay involved." Hatch faces former state senator and Democrat Scott Howell in the general election.

3. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's chosen successor, John Swallow, stepping into the nomination? Check. This was the ugliest race in the state, with a super-pac of unknown origin called "Now or Never" attacking Reyes, and a Democratic-run super-pac going after Swallow. Swallow will face Democratic Weber County Attorney Dee Smith in November.

4. Mike Winder, with the family dairy name and the impressive title as mayor of Utah's second biggest city, coasted to an easy nomination? Not so fast.

Business consultant and former county councilman Mark Crockett surged into a primary ahead of both Winder and County Councilman Richard Snelgrove in the County GOP Nominating convention in April.

And in June, he became the man to tie things up despite facing the famous name.

Or maybe because of it.

 Winder's recent claim to fame came as the result of another name: Richard Burwash. That name became his assumed identity as author of positive stories about West Valley City in the Deseret News.

When Winder owned up to the alter-ego, his political fate seemed sealed...but he never suggested he was leaving the political arena.

At the end of the night, with all votes counted, Crockett had a 239 vote lead. That's .3 percent of the voters in the county GOP primary, making a recount all but certain.

The winner has a tough race ahead against Democratic State Senator Ben McAdams.

For more information on this year's primary election results, visit the following address: http://electionresults.utah.gov/