Some of the races to watch in the Utah State Legislature

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — As we get closer to Election Day, some races are getting more competitive.

One of them is House District 30, which includes much of West Valley City. The district, currently in Republican hands, could swing the other way in November as Democrats edged closer in the previous election. Fatima Dirie, the Democratic candidate, narrowly lost to the then representative. Craig Hall two years ago. She now challenges the incumbent named-Rep. Judy Weeks-Rohner.

“It’s a very important race,” Dirie said in an interview with FOX 13 News. “We have the opportunity to really reflect the community, to select a candidate who looks like the community and has experience.”

Weeks-Rohner said she works hard to win every vote.

“I want my constituents to know that I work for them, that I’m a fighter, that I’m not giving up,” Weeks-Rohner said at a recent honking event.

Also in the running is Evan Rodgers with the United Utah Party.

“If I can bring people from all political backgrounds together to have a conversation in some way, that’s what I’m looking for,” he said in a recent interview.

Candidates came up with different issues that they hear about from voters when they knock on doors.

“There’s a lot of frustration around rising housing rents. That’s the number one issue that voters are talking about, as well as our economy,” Dirie said, noting working-class families in West Valley City.

Weeks-Rohner said he was told the same thing.

“People are worried about inflation, and they’re worried about the food tax and they know I’m working diligently to try to get the state share out,” she said.

Rodgers said he would like to push health care policy forward.

“We need to expand the care that we provide to our community. An important point that I emphasize is in particular the expansion of mental health care,” he said.

Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, said the House District 30 race is arguably the most competitive in the Utah state legislature.

“It could go either way. It’s one of those particular districts that has been very close in the past,” he said.

With newly redrawn borders thanks to the redrawing, Republicans continue their legislative dominance. However, some seats still prove competitive, even in unusual races. Perry pointed to House District 16, which encompasses parts of Layton.

After losing at the Davis County Republican Party convention to Trevor Lee, incumbent Republican Representative Steve Handy launched a written campaign. Perry said Handy had a chance of winning re-election if he could get voters to write in “Steve Handy.”

“He’s facing a candidate, Trevor Lee, who’s had a bit of a controversy. He’s been condemned by our own legislature, his potential colleagues one day, for things he said online,” Perry said. “And also Steve Handy has raised quite a bit of money. If Steve Handy can’t do it, and it remains to be seen what he can do, but if he can’t do it, it’s going to be almost impossible for anybody else to do it.”

The race got even more interesting when another “Steve” jumped into the race. Steve Fershtut recently launched his own writing campaign. He told KSL Radio that a Lee supporter asked him to intervene.

Rep. Rosemary Lesser is campaigning to keep her seat in a new district. The Ogden Democrat is facing a challenge from Republican Jill Koford in the newly drawn boundaries for the House 10 district following a redistricting.

Another race that Perry said people should watch is between incumbent Republican Rep. Phil Lyman and his Democratic challenger Davina Smith for House District 69, which includes San Juan County and parts of Kane and Garfield. If elected, Smith would be the first Native American woman to serve in the House.

“Davina Smith raised a lot more money than him, but he’s got signs everywhere,” Perry said. “It’s interesting to see if you can assess based on the signs or fundraising.”

Another race is attracting attention for its levels of litigation. The Utah Democratic Party sued former Rep. Joel Ferry’s name on the ballot for the 1 House District. The Brigham City Republican resigned from the legislature when it was confirmed he would serve under Governor Spencer Cox as executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources. . The Democratic Party argues that its name should be struck from the ballot, leaving only their nominee – Joshua Hardy – on the ballot in the overwhelming GOP district.

However, it will remain on the ballot. The Democratic Party has repeatedly lost battles in court, most recently in the Supreme Court of Utah. The party said in a statement recently that it would continue to pursue legal challenges.

To find out if you are registered to vote (or to register to vote), click here.

About Wilhelmina Go

Check Also

Lawsuit: 2 Wyoming mentally ill dead, proceedings skipped

By MEAD GRUVERAssociated press CHEYENNE, Wyoming (AP) — Two patients at Wyoming State Hospital died …