Utah Democrats won’t replace Harper on the ballot

Posted at 5:47 PM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 19:47:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Democratic Party will not replace Jon Harper from the ballot, even though he’s dropped out of the race for Utah Attorney General.

In an email to FOX 13, party spokeswoman Yándary Zavala said that even though Harper withdrew from the race, he has not formally done so with the Lt. Governor’s office. So he’ll remain on the ballot.

“This gives Utah Democrats the greatest chance of having a Democratic Attorney General and a voice in this race; should Harper win and his health improve, he could assume the role of Attorney General. Should he win and not be able to assume Attorney General duties, Democrats would have the option to send to the governor a list of candidates for consideration,” she wrote.

Jon Harper (image courtesy Harper for Utah Attorney General campaign)

Jon Harper (image courtesy Harper for Utah Attorney General campaign)

Harper dropped out of the race the night before a debate in St. George with Republican Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, citing undisclosed health issues. He told FOX 13 it was on the advice of his physician, but would not reveal what it was he was dealing with.

Zavala said the decision to keep Harper on the ballot is the “best option available.”

“Utah election law does not provide a mechanism through which a candidate who withdraws for medical reasons at this point in the election cycle can be replaced. This should not be a partisan issue, and we hope our state legislature will take steps to correct this gap in our election law. While Democrats are the ones being set back by this at the moment, it could very well affect Republicans in the future,” she wrote.