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Politics & Government

Democrats Lose Three Close Legislative Races

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Dan Bammes
Utah House of Representatives

  Democrats in Utah’s state House of Representatives are choosing new leaders at a meeting Wednesday evening.  The minority party lost three close races Tuesday when the final vote tallies were announced.

One of the Republicans who won a hard-fought race is former State Representative Fred Cox, who defeated Democrat Mike Lee in District 30 in West Valley City.  The margin was just 47 votes.  Cox said his opponent was gracious when the results were announced.

“What did he do?" Cox told KUER.  "He went around and came back and approached me and shook my hand and, ‘good race.’”

Republican Sophia DiCaro defeated incumbent Democrat Larry Wiley in District 31 in West Valley, while Republican Bruce Cutler defeated Democrat Christine Passey for an open seat in District 44 in Murray.

With such a small group, Democratic Representative Brian King says his party will need to draw sharp lines between themselves and the Republican majority.

In an interview with KUER, King said “I think we’ve got to do a better job of advertising and presenting, as a matter of public relations, good reasons for people to vote for Democrats, that we’re not just Republican Light.”

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says more than nine thousand mail-in and provisional ballots were counted between election day, November 4th, and the final canvass of votes on Tuesday, and they made the difference in all three races.

Brian Grimmett contributed to this story.

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