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Cox defeats Lyman in GOP gubernatorial primary despite convention loss

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jun 25, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Governor Spencer Cox advanced from the GOP primary Tuesday, easily defeating challenger Phil Lyman as he looks to secure a second term in the state's highest office.

As of 9:30 p.m., Cox had secured 58% of the votes to Lyman's 42%, with the race being projected for the governor, despite his challenger saying he'll wait to concede.

"We knew it was going to be leaning Cox on the front end of this and it was," said Lyman. "I think we'll still continue to make up ground and we'll see how far we can get on that.”

In video below, candidate Phil Lyman talks about primary results:

Lyman interview

The road to the primary victory was somewhat rocky early on as Lyman defeated Cox at April's Utah GOP convention, with the governor getting booed by its hardcore attendees. However, Cox had already gathered enough signatures to appear on Tuesday's ballot and won handily.

"I just wanted you all to know how grateful I am tonight," Cox said to supporters. "We restored our faith in the Republican Party and our faith in the people of Utah. They don't respond to the lies, to the made up conspiracy theories. We do things the right way in Utah and I'm just so proud."

Despite appearing to be out of the race, Lyman wasn't ready to quit a campaign he's enjoyed.

"The people of Utah are, they're looking for something different and it's very gratifying," he said. "I've loved it, I've loved every minute of this and continue to love it, so we'll just keep plugging."

Cox will face off against Democratic candidate Brian King in November's election.