MANTI – The deadline for those seeking political office in the state of Utah has come and gone.
And while there are several compelling races at the state level, there are a few in Sanpete County worth keeping an eye on as candidates prepare for the upcoming party conventions and then the primary election on June 28.
Here’s a breakdown of who is running for the various positions in Sanpete County.
Utah House of Representatives
Rep. Steven J. Lund filed for another term as the state representative in District 58. Lund, formerly a county commissioner, has served in his legislative position since Jan. 1, 2021.
During his time as a state representative, Lund has served on three committees—Business, Economic Development and Labor Appropriations; House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee and House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee.
Rep. Lund doesn’t have any major-party opposition but will face Russ Hatch of the Constitution Party. Hatch and his wife live in Manti, are retired and are involved in community and church activities.
Sanpete County Commission Seat A
Sanpete County Commission Chairman Scott Bartholomew will face a challenge from fellow Republican Brandon Armstrong of Fairview.
Bartholomew was first elected in 2013 in a special Republican caucus that was called when one of the commissioners was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Utah Legislature. Bartholomew ran unopposed in the 2014 and 2018 elections. He was named the commission chairman following the 2018 election.
Brandon Armstrong of Hideaway Valley owns a property management company based in Salt Lake City that manages properties in Salt Lake and Davis counties. He commutes to his work. He said people in his community encouraged him to run. He said he wants to be a voice for people who don’t feel connected with local government.
If Armstrong receives at least 31 percent of the votes in the Sanpete County Republican Convention, he and Bartholomew will square off in the June 28 primary election.
Sanpete County Commission Seat B
Mike Bennett of Mayfield, Vivian Kunz of Indianola and Scott Collard of Fountain Green, all Republicans, are vying for the Commission Seat B. A fourth candidate, Leon Day of Fairview, is also running for the seat, but as a member of the Utah United party.
Currently, Seat B is held by Ed Sunderland, who ran unopposed in 2018. He has decided not to seek reelection.
“Service has always been a part of my life,” Bennett said. “I’ve always enjoyed serving others throughout our area through being involved with (Mayfield) town council and the county fair among other opportunities. I’ve always wanted to serve on the county level with being a commissioner. I believe I can offer the people of the county something that they don’t always have and that is a voice. I’ve never believed Sanpete to have a north or south I’ve always viewed it as Sanpete.”
Vivian Kunz says, ” North Sanpete County has been my home for over 13 years. I love Sanpete County, it is where my heart is. My children have grown up, married, and are raising my grandchildren here.”
“We are seeing a great deal of growth. Change is hard, the growth will come whether we want it or not. It is important to proactively plan for the growth, while also preserving the heritage and resources of this great county. These are the reasons I chose to accept the call to run from my neighbors,” she says.
Scott Collard served 12 years on the Fountain Green City Council and 12 years as Fountain Green mayor in the 1990s and early 2000s. Professionally, he is vice president of Cache Valley Electric and says he mostly works from home.
Leon Day of Fairview, a civil engineer, and land surveyor, stepped down in 2021 after more than a decade on the Sanpete County Planning and Zoning Commission. He is concerned about managing growth in the county and maintains a Facebook page on the subject.
Utah State Board of Education
Kim Pickett of Gunnison, who is serving a fourth term on the South Sanpete School Board, is running for one of 15 seats on the Utah State Board of Education. Pickett is running in District 14, which is made up of rural counties in central and southern Utah.
Pickett is among four candidates vying for the position held by Mark Huntsman of Fillmore, who is stepping away from the post to run for the Utah House of Representatives.
Pickett has two years remaining on the South Sanpete School Board and will keep that position if the run for State School Board is not successful.
Other contenders are Mary Nielson of Nephi, a Republican, who formerly served on the Juab School Board; Richard Jensen of Enoch, Iron County, who is running as a Libertarian; and Emily Green of Cedar City, a Republican who has been active in PTA and served on the governing board of the Intermountain Cedar City Hospital.
Sanpete County Sheriff
Jared Buchanan was elected as the Sanpete County Sheriff on Feb. 2, 2021 after receiving 55 percent of the votes at the Republican caucus. Two days later, the Sanpete County Commission ratified the results and appointed him sheriff.
Buchanan filled the position after then-Sanpete County Sheriff Brian Nielson resigned to accept a position in Gov. Spencer Cox’s administration. Buchanan is running unopposed.
Other Sanpete County Offices
County Auditor Stacey Lyon, a Sterling resident, is running unopposed to keep her job.
Linda B. Christiansen, of Manti, is also running unopposed in the county clerk race. She currently works as an administrative assistant in the Sanpete County Building Inspector’s Office.
North Sanpete School Board
The North Sanpete Board Race has two candidates up for reelection. Greg. B. Bailey, of Fountain Green, currently the board chair, has served on the school board since 2006. He has filed to keep his spot.
Jeremy Madsen of Fairview is seeking a second term on the board. Both are running unopposed.
South Sanpete School Board
The South Sanpete School Board has three spots up for grabs. However, all three spots appear to be non-contested races.
Manti resident Mark Olson is seeking his third term representing Precinct 1. Olson has served in his role since 2014. Olsen is a farmer and retired educator.
Ephraim resident David Warren of Ephraim is seeking his fourth term on the school board, representing Precinct 4. Warren is manager of the Manti branch of Zions Bank.
Connor Thompson, also of Ephraim, is running unopposed for the position held by Gary Olson since 2018. Olson did not file for reelection. Thomas is a dentist with Ephraim Family Dental.