At the finish line of the 2010 Morgan County Elections on Tuesday night, there were many incumbents that crossed the finish line ahead of their competition and will remain in their positions with the county. Two of those incumbents that voters chose to return to office included Jann Farris as Morgan County’s Attorney who received 67% of the vote and Brenda Nelson as Morgan County Recorder with 58% of the vote.
Mel Brown will return to the State House of Representatives with 59% of the votes in that election going to him. Glenn Wright received 18% and Morgan resident Clyde Beutler received 5% overall, and 9.3% of the vote in Morgan. Brown received the support of 73% of the votes which were cast in Morgan. Another candidate who received significant support from Morgan is Mike Lee who took the US Senate seat with 62% and the help of Morganites who voted for him by a margin of almost 70%.
Rob Bishop crossed the line well ahead of his opponent with 70% of the vote. With that win, Bishop will return to his office in the US House of Representatives. Also, on the State level, Governor Herbert won with 64% of the votes in that election going in his favor. In Morgan, Bishop received 80% and Herbert, 77%.
There will be some new faces on the Morgan County Council at the beginning of the year. Lyle Nelson handily pulled ahead to win the race over Jim Montgomery for the council seat to represent District 2. Nelson received nearly 72% of the vote. Another winner by a significant margin was Ned Mecham who won the At Large B seat by getting more than 76% of the vote over Jeremy Barker.
Two races still remain too close to call. In the county council At Large A seat, Larry Hatch faced off against Robert Kilmer. After all of the votes were counted, Hatch was in the lead, but only by 23 votes. In the race between Don Mathews and Austin Turner for Morgan County Council seat to represent District 5, the two candidates crossed the line neck and neck and the vote is still too close to call. At the close of voting on Tuesday night, Mathews was ahead by a nose of only 50 votes.
There are 48 absentee ballots still outstanding. The absentee ballots had to be postmarked by November 1 and need to be received by the county by Tuesday, November 9. There are also 120 provisional ballots that will need to be verified.
Provisional ballots are cast when there is a question about whether the voter may cast a vote. The voter may not be listed on the rolls, may not have presented picture ID, their name may be wrong, or for other reasons their vote may be in question.
The county must research and verify whether these votes will be counted. The provisional votes will also be reviewed and decisions made by November 9. With these two races this close, the number of outstanding ballots remaining to be counted could change the outcome. A final outcome will be known by November 9.
There is a new sheriff in town as Blaine Breshears was elected with 98.2%. The race began with Neil Porter and Breshears as candidates. In late September Porter dropped from the race and Breshears then ran unopposed. Where the unopposed candidate received less than 100% of the vote, the difference are votes which were cast for write in candidates.
Other unopposed candidates included Tina Kelley, Morgan County Council District 1 (98.1%); Gwen Rich, Morgan County Assessor (99.3%); Stacy Lafitte, Morgan County Clerk Auditor (99.6%), Bonnie Thomson, Morgan County Treasurer (99.7%); Bruce Galbraith, Morgan School Board District 2 (99.5%); and Joey Skinner, Morgan School Board District 4 (99.9%).
Both justice court judges for county and city courts were returned to office. Judge Hassell, Morgan County Justice Court received a vote of 82.4% to retain him in office and Judge London, Morgan City Justice Court received 84.3% to retain him.
All four of the constitutional amendments passed. Amendment A was approved with 60% (Morgan County voted 62% in favor). Amendment B was approved with 85% (Morgan County voted 83% in favor). Amendment C was approved with 59% (Morgan County voted 61% in favor). Lastly, Amendment D was approved with 67% (Morgan County voted 61% in favor).
Morgan is often characterized as being a Republican stronghold. If the straight party votes and the partisan races are analyzed this seems to be true. Of the straight party votes cast, 82.4% of the votes were Republican and the lowest percentage a Republican candidate received was 70%. Overall, however, only just over 21% of the votes cast were straight party votes. While Morgan may be conservative, the voters in this election opted to vote for individual candidates instead of parties. 54% of the registered voters cast a ballot in this election.
The county will continue determining the election results over the next few days as they receive and count the absentee ballots and determine the validity of the provisional ballots. This process will then settle the final outstanding races between Kilmer and Hatch and Mathews and Turner.