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Utah Democratic Party picks nominees in first-ever 'virtual' state convention

Utah Democratic gubernatorial candidates
Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 20:24:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Democratic Party saw record participation in its first-ever "virtual" state convention to choose its nominees.

"This has been the fastest, most efficient election that we've ever had in the Democratic party," party chairman Jeff Merchant said, announcing the results.

With 2,203 credentialed delegates at state convention, the party recorded 85% participation. It was the most the party has ever seen.

"Democrats across the state of Utah are hungry for change, and today they really did speak out," Merchant said.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the party to abandon the traditional state convention. Like the Utah Republican Party, they held an online only convention where candidates submitted pre-recorded speeches and delegates voted online, utilizing ranked choice voting.

Here are the results:

1st Congressional District
Darren Parry—55.6%
Jamie Cheek—44.4%

The two will appear in a primary in June.

2nd Congressional District
Kael Weston on the first ballot—83.0%
Randy Hopkins—16.0%
Larry Livingston—1.0%

3rd Congressional District
Devin Thorpe on the first ballot—82.2%
Trey Robinson—9.6%
Jared Anderson—8.1%

4th Congressional District
Incumbent congressman Ben McAdams won on the first ballot—89.3%
Daniel Beckstrand—10.7%

Utah Attorney General
Greg Skordas—on the first ballot 96.6%
Kevin Probasco—3.4%

Utah Governor
Chris Peterson on the first ballot—88.4%
Zachary Moses—4.7%
Neil Hansen—4.0%
Nikki Ray Pino—1.4%
Ryan Jackson—1.4%
Archie Williams—0.1%

Speaking to reporters after the results were announced, Peterson acknowledged an uphill fight in Republican-dominated Utah, but said he believed he could win over some traditionally GOP voters.

"I think there are a lot of people out there that are moderates that are willing to maybe consider a change for the state at this time. For too long our one party system has allowed special interests and lobbyists to orchestrate legislation behind the scenes and oftentimes that legislation is not in the best interests of ordinary working Utahns," he said.

The Utah GOP was also holding its convention on Saturday in a "virtual" sense. Results from those races were not expected until later in the evening.