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Herbert Defeats Johnson In Utah Governor's Primary

Utah Governor Gary Herbert was the clear winner in Tuesday’s primary election against Republican challenger Jonathan Johnson. As of late Tuesday night, Herbert led Johnson by more than 40 percentage points.

Overstock.com board chairman Jonathan Johnson said he’s disappointed by the size of the victory. He thought it would be much closer.

“As I traveled the state, even this past weekend, the message felt like it was resonating,” Johnson said. “I do think that early voting had something to do with it. I think it’s too soon. I think a lot of votes were cast before many people had focused on the race.”

Johnson drew a bright line between himself and incumbent Republican Governor Gary Herbert when he joined the race last September. By taking Herbert to task on taxes, education and public lands, he drummed up enough support from Republicans to force Herbert, who has one of the highest approval ratings in the country into a primary.

Johnson called for an end to the Common Core standards, and he vowed to file a lawsuit against the federal government to gain control of public lands. He also said he’d work to repeal the Count My Vote compromise known as SB 54, which allows candidates to bypass the caucus convention system and collect signatures in order to appear on a primary ballot.

Herbert defended the common core, signed SB 54 into law, and said it would be reckless to file a lawsuit against the federal government. In the end, Herbert said this more measured approach won over Utah Republicans.

“I think our track record, our positive message of what we can do going forward I think is resonating with the people of Utah,” Herbert said. “And we’re humbled about the opportunity to go to the next step. This is not over. We have a general election that we need to in fact be involved in too.”

Herbert now faces Democratic challenger Mike Weinholtz in the general election November 8th

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