Utah’s state Senate primary race for the Republican Party ended at the end of a long Tuesday evening, with candidate Evan Vickers, the incumbent, swiping an overwhelming majority of the votes. Vickers took some 67.1 per cent of the ballot, while his contender, Casey O. Anderson, only scored 32.9 per cent.
In total, 243 districts located in the counties of Washington, Beaver, and Iron cast their ballot. The race was tight and tough, as it came with an important ‘prize’: the right to represent the Republican party in the November elections. This was the first time that Vickers went head to head with Anderson for a seat in the Senate. Two years ago, the very same candidates raced for a Senate seat and that race turned out to be even harder to win than this one. it was contentious, even, according to media reports – quite unlike the race this year. According to Vickers, both he and his candidate “tried very hard” to make this year’s election run-up friendlier and less tension-filled. Vickers also made note of his challenger’s hard work ethics and stated he knew Anderson would be putting in some serious effort to win the electoral race. His tactic for winning with similar results as last time? To work even harder than Anderson.
This hard work included a lot of grassroots campaigning, with door-to-door calls, phone calls, text messages, direct mailing, and ad campaigns ran in the local media. For November’s general elections, Vickers has no counter-candidate. In this respect, he has stated that, if he loses, “that’ll be the biggest upset in the history of politics”.
Perhaps the most notable point that Vickers made during his campaign was that on Senate Bill 54. During the previous legislative session, Sen. Vickers was instrumental in making sure the bill is passed, to the opposition of numerous conservatives. The bill allows candidates two run for office in two different ways: through the caucus system, but also through the primary ballot. According to Vickers, the caucus is right most of the time and in 90 per cent of cases has helped select the appropriate candidate. However, he added, at times people need the opportunity to go through primary ballots. He went on to add that, in some cases, some voices require the chance to be heard in the primary elections. SB54 makes room for such scenarios, but also gives ample importance to the caucus system.
In the Republican primary ballot this year, Anderson almost managed to eliminate Vickers during the convention segment of the nominations.