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Reporting from the St. George area focused on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues and faith and spirituality.

Washington County GOP selects Colin Jack as interim representative after Seegmiller’s resignation

Washington County Special Election, Colin Jack, June 1, 2022
Lexi Peery
/
KUER
Colin Jack has held several leadership positions in the Washington County Republican Party. On Wednesday, June 1, 2022, he was selected to represent House District 62.

As the lone candidate in a special election, Washington County resident Colin Jack is set to take over House District 62. Rep. Travis Seegmiller, R-St. George, announced last month that he would step down July 1.

Republican party delegates voted in Jack to be the interim representative ahead of the June 28 primary election. He has one competitor in that race, Nina Barnes, the vice-chair of the Utah Board of Higher Education. She did not enter the special election and told FOX 13 last week that she prefers voters decide who the next representative is, and not county delegates. Jack won the favor of delegates over Seegmiller and Barnes during the Washington County Republican convention in March.

This win will only take him through the end of Seegmiller’s term, but Jack said he’s confident he’ll win the primary.

“I feel like this interim time, these next six months will give me a chance to be prepared for the regular session that will start in January,” he said. “I'll be a freshman like all the other freshmen that get elected, but I will be a freshman with six months of committee work in advance to have heard a lot of the discussion going on.”

Jack has held a variety of positions in the county Republican party and he’s the Chief Operating Officer at Dixie Power, a local utility company in St. George.

Seegmiller was appointed to the seat in 2018, replacing Jon Stanard who resigned after a British tabloid reported he paid for sex when in Salt Lake City for legislative business. In 2021, he faced a potential ethics investigation in the Legislature after being charged with poaching and unlawful discharge of a firearm. In announcing his resignation, Seegmiller said his family plans to move outside of the boundaries of the district.

There was confusion ahead of the special election about Seegmiller’s status in the upcoming primary, since he had announced his resignation but had not withdrawn his name from the ballot, The Spectrum reported. He later filed a formal withdrawal of candidacy.

Washington County GOP Chair Lesa Sandberg said she’s glad this special race was easy, compared to the confusion surrounding the seat the past few weeks.

“[But] it makes me sad. I wish we would have had more than one [candidate]. I wish that Nina [Barnes] would have respected the process and come and tried to win the delegate's hearts,” she said. “But I think Colin [Jack] will be great. He'll serve his district well for these next six months.”

Jack said the whole experience has been a “rollercoaster,” adding he’s happy with where things are at.

“I still have all of the work to win the primary election,” he said. “So, this special election was kind of an added election that needed to be worked and run.”

Lexi is KUER's Southwest Bureau reporter
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