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Eight Candidates Are Vying To Fill Ogden House Seat In A Special Election

Photo of the inside of the Utah Capitol building.
KUER file
House District 10 will have a new representative after the Utah Democratic Party holds a special election this weekend.

Eight people are hoping to represent House District 10 in the Utah Legislature. The seat is vacant after former Rep. LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff, D-Ogden, died at the end of December.

The representative from House District 10 is the only Democrat in the Utah Legislature who doesn’t live in Salt Lake County.

Utah Democratic Party Chair Jeff Merchant said that’s one reason so many people want it.

“I think there’s a lot of pent-up interest in Democrats being a representative of the people outside of Salt Lake County,” Merchant said.

Shurtliff was in that seat for about a decade. Merchant said she left big shoes to fill for her successor.

“I think that all Democrats want someone who is going to continue [Lou Shurtliff’s] legacy of fighting for education, fighting for women’s rights, fighting for basic principles of fairness and honesty in government,” he said.

Shurtliff was re-elected just last year, so the new representative will serve a full two-year term in office.

Merchant said it’s important to select that legislator right away, with the legislative session starting next week.

“Whoever gets the slot is already going to be behind the eight-ball going into the session,” he said. “A lot of legislators have already started getting their bills finalized. There will be a learning curve, but I think we’ll end up with someone pretty good.”

Thirty-seven Democratic delegates will vote on Shurtliff’s replacement in a special election Saturday. After that, Gov. Spencer Cox will appoint the winner as the new representative.

Emily Means is a government and politics reporter at KUER.
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