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Judge lowers signature threshold for Garbett to get on the Utah GOP primary ballot

Posted at 9:34 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 11:46:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has lowered the signature gathering threshold for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jan Garbett.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby lowered the threshold to 19,040 signatures. That's down from 28,000 required of other candidates who qualified for the ballot. The Lt. Governor's Office, which handles elections, said Garbett had already submitted 20,874 and told them it was submitting more by Tuesday's deadline.

Those signatures must be validated before determining if she qualifies under the new threshold.

The judge made the decision after oral arguments in a phone conference with attorneys for Garbett and the state on Monday. A formal ruling is expected on Tuesday.

Garbett sued, challenging the restrictions the state placed on signature-gathering candidates. The easing of restrictions because of COVID-19 was too little, too late, she argued. The state argued that the thresholds and requirements were not burdensome, noting that Jon Huntsman Jr. made the ballot. He joins Thomas Wright and Spencer Cox who gathered signatures to earn a spot on the ballot (Cox and Greg Hughes won at this weekend's Utah GOP convention).

Garbett is campaigning as the only Republican in the race who is vocally opposed to President Trump.

This is a breaking news story. Updates on FOX 13 and as information becomes available.