Sonja Hutson | KUER 90.1

Sonja Hutson

Reporter

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER. She’s been reporting on politics ever since the 10th grade, when she went to so many school board meetings the district set up a press table for her. Before coming to Utah, Sonja spent four years at KQED in San Francisco where she covered everything from wildfires to the tech industry. When she’s not working, you can find her skiing, camping, or deeply invested in a 1000 piece puzzle.

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Renee Bright / KUER

Updated 5:54 p.m. MDT 7/8/2020

Utahns voted in an influential primary election June 30. There is an open seat for Governor for the first time since 2004, and four Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination. Utah’s incumbent Attorney General Sean Reyes is being challenged by another Republican. The 1st Congressional District is an open seat for the first time since 2002, andRepublicans and Democrats are facing off in their own primaries for the chance to compete for the seat in November. 

Headshots of each candidate cropped into one image
University of Utah website and Spencer Cox campaign

Utah Republicans have selected Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox as their nominee for Utah governor. Cox will now face Democrat and University of Utah law professor Chris Peterson in the general election.

Photo of a man standing outside
Courtesy of the Chris Wilson campaign

In a stunning upset, state Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, has been ousted by a political newcomer after 35 years in the Utah Senate and nearly 40 years in the state Legislature. 

Photo of USPS mail box with an election sign telling voters not to drop ballots here.
Elaine Clark / KUER

Utahns voted in a very influential primary election Tuesday. There's the open governor's seat, a congressional swing district ... Most races, though, are still up in the air this morning. KUER’s politics team Sonja Hutson and Emily Means joined Diane Maggipinto to break down what happened.

Photo of a San Juan County voting ballot
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Primary Election Day in Utah will look different this year compared to years past due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

A gavel
Wikimedia Commons

Donna Miller was heading to nursing school in August 2018, when she was pulled over by Murray Police Officer Jarom Allred for driving an uninsured car, according to a federal lawsuit Miller filed Monday. 

Miller said she gave Allred her insurance card and he then accused her of driving under the influence of alcohol. She took a breathalyzer test which came back negative, she added. 

Photo of the downtown salt lake city skyline
Wikimedia Commons

Big changes could be coming to one of Utah’s tax incentive programs that encourages businesses to come to the state, as all four Republican candidates for governor support reforming it. 

Illustration of two people on ladders painting a blue wall red
dane_mark / iStock.com

Who can unseat Utah’s lone Democratic congressman, Ben McAdams?

That’s the question before Republican voters as they pick which of four primary candidates will go up against McAdams in November to represent the 4th Congressional District. 

Headshots of each candidate cropped into one image
Headshots courtesy of campaigns

The Republican gubernatorial candidates’ picks for Utah’s lieutenant governor are diverse in terms of gender, geography, and political experience.

Photo of a hand holding up a ballot
Elaine Clark / KUER

Amid calls for Democrats and unaffiliated voters to register as Republicans ahead of Utah’s June 30 primary election, GOP registration has soared. 

Photo of four men standing behind podiums on a stage
Pool photo

The coronavirus pandemic has been a politically divisive issue across the country, and in Utah it’s become a wedge issue in the Republican race for governor. 

Photo of President Trump at speaking into a microphone
Wikimedia Commons

Republican Utah voters have a complicated relationship with President Donald Trump. Utah’s GOP candidates for governor all say they support him but are navigating that differently. 

Photo of capitol facade.
Brian Albers / KUER

Updated 7:23 p.m. MDT 6/18/2020

Utah’s governor would have to inform the Legislature of some major emergency purchases under a bill passed by the Utah Legislature Thursday. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
KUER File Photo

The Utah Legislature’s Executive Appropriations Committee approved $850 million Wednesday in total budget cuts for the next fiscal year. 

Photo of Utah Republican gubernatorial candidates.
Courtesy of individual campaigns

Utah’s four Republican candidates for governor faced off Tuesday night in what could be their final debate before the June 30 primary. Each candidate criticized the state for accepting federal funds.

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The state Legislature is taking steps to ban police officers from using chokeholds or kneeling on someone’s neck as a form of restraint. 

Photo of a crowd of protesters
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest

In response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police and continued protests across the country, Utah’s Republican gubernatorial candidates are calling for police reforms and respect for law enforcement. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone
Pool photo

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams won the seat by just 0.2% in 2018 and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone on a stage
Pool photo

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, won by just 0.2% in 2018 and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Photo of a man in a blue suit and pink tie
Steve Griffin

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, won the seat by just 0.2% in 2018, and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Photo of woman at podium.
Courtesy of Kim Coleman

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams won the seat by just 0.2% in 2018 and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone
Pool photo

Gov. Gary Herbert announced a slew of changes in the state’s Executive Branch aimed at addressing racial inequality and policing reform.

Photo of two forklifts in a large warehouse full of cardboard boxes.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

During a recent shipping day, Utah’s personal protective equipment warehouse in Salt Lake City was bustling with activity. Forklifts whizzed around, carrying boxes full of gowns, facemasks, and hand sanitizer, and loading them onto trucks headed for hospitals and local health districts. 

Photo of a man in a suit standing behind a clear podium that reads "Utah Debate Commission"
Ivy Ceballo, pool photographer

Utah has the first open seat for governor since 2004, and there are four candidates vying for the Republican nomination: Spencer Cox, Greg Hughes, Jon Huntsman Jr. and Thomas Wright. In the lead up to the June 30 primary, KUER is bringing voters a conversation with each of them.

Photo of a man in a suit standing behind a podium that reads "Utah Debate Commission"
Ivy Ceballo, pool photographer

Utah has the first open seat for governor since 2004, and there are four candidates vying for the Republican nomination. In the lead up to the June 30 primary, KUER is bringing voters a conversation with each of them.

Photo of Greg Hughes standing behind a podium on a stage
Ivy Ceballo, pool photographer

Utah has the first open seat for governor this year since 2004 and there are four candidates vying for the Republican nomination. In the lead up to the June 30 primary, KUER is bringing voters a conversation with each of them.

Photo of Spencer Cox at podium.
Ivy Cabello

Utah has the first open seat for governor this year since 2004 and there are four candidates vying for the Republican nomination. In the lead up to the June 30th primary, KUER is bringing voters a conversation with each of them.

Politics reporter Sonja Hutson spoke with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox about his vision for Utah. 

Graphic illustration of a hand holding a smartphone showing a voting application
danijelala via iStock

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner received a $1,500 campaign donation from an investor in the blockchain voting app Voatz in 2018, roughly 16 months before the county first used the app in its elections. 

Photos of four candidtes for governor.
Ivy Cabello

The four Republican candidates for Utah governor got into a heated discussion about the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and politicization of the public health crisis during a debate Monday evening.

Photo of the candidates standing behind podiums
Pool photo

Four Republicans are vying to be the party’s choice to unseat Utah’s lone Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Ben McAdams. They made their cases to voters in the 4th Congressional District at a debate Monday.

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