North Sanpete population advantage helps Collard
Election update – final numbers
MANTI—Sanpete County Commission Chairman Scott Bartholomew has been elected to a third term while Scott Collard, former mayor of Fountain Green, has defeated Mike Bennett, Sanpete County Fair Board chairman, for an open seat on the commission, based on official primary election results released Tuesday.
Both Bartholomew and Collard were endorsed by the Sanpete County Republican Party.
Three other candidates who ran as Republicans—Bennett, Brandon Armstrong and Vivian Kunz—gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot without the party’s endorsement.
No one from any other party has filed for Seat A, the seat held by Bartholomew, so he will be running unopposed in the final election. That means the primary pretty much seals his hold on the seat.
In the Collard-Bennett race for Seat B, the election-night count had Collard 108 votes ahead of Bennett. Final official totals showed Collard won the race by 131. Collard got just under 45 percent and Bennett 42 percent of votes cast.
However, Indianola Valley realtor Vivian Kunz got 13 percent, which meant Collard fell short of winning a majority.
In the final election, Collard will face Leon Day, former chairman of the Sanpete County Planning Commission. Day is running on the Utah United Party ticket. The Utah United Party bills itself as a middle-of-the-road party. However, Day is expected to face an uphill race against Collard.
In the election for U.S. Senate, incumbent Mike Lee got 77 percent of the Sanpete County vote and 62 percent of the vote statewide against moderate Republicans Becky Edwards and Ally Isom. (See accompanying chart.)
In the U.S Congress race in District 4, a district that formerly covered North Sanpete north of the Pigeon Hollow Junction but now takes in all of Sanpete County, incumbent Burgess Owens got 73 percent of the Sanpete County vote and 62 percent of the district-wide vote against newcomer Jake Hunsaker, also regarded as more moderate than Lee.
Vote totals showed Sanpete County is more conservative than Utah as a whole. Local Republicans gave Lee and Owens, both staunch right-wingers, bigger margins than the two candidates got in other parts of Utah.
In the commission race between Bennett and Collard, an analysis of votes by precinct showed geography continues to play a big role in Sanpete County electoral politics. The Messenger did the analysis before the official totals came out, but there was very little difference between the election night totals and the final totals.
If Bennett, who lives in Mayfield, had been running in the Gunnison Valley only, he would have beaten Collard by approximately 68 to 22 percent.
Even in seven Manti and Ephraim precincts, Bennett ran ahead of Collard by approximately 50 to 38 percent.
The problem for Bennett was that the further he got from his home territory, and the closer Collard got to his home in Fountain Green, the more votes swung to Collard. In the Mt. Pleasant and Fairview areas, Collard beat Bennett by 56 to 25 percent.
The bottom line seems to be that in a close, countywide race, North Sanpete has the population advantage. Based on election-night totals, which were slightly lower than final totals, 2,302 votes were cast in North Sanpete; 1,676 in Central Sanpete (including Ephraim, Manti and Sterling); and 901 in the Gunnison Valley.
There are just under 10,000 registered Republicans in Sanpete County. Of those, 4,973 voted in the primary, which translated to 50.28 percent voter turnout.