2020 is ‘going to be a busy election year’

Plethora of county offices up for election in 2020; presidential primary March 3

While the 2020 presidential election will undoubtedly get the lion’s share of attention nationally, Grand County voters have some choices to make in the months ahead.

“It’s going to be a busy election year,” said Clerk-Auditor Chris Baird, who is transitioning to the Grand County Administrator. Indeed, voters could participate in three elections, as both Democratic and Republican Presidential Primary Elections will be held Super Tuesday, March 3.

Baird said unaffiliated voters were mailed notices advising them they could request and receive a ballot from the clerk and participate in the Democratic presidential primary election regardless of their affiliation while Republicans only permits registered Republicans to participate. The last day to change party affiliation in time to participate in the presidential primary election is, by mail: Feb. 3. Online or in person: Feb. 25.

Those who are already registered with either party will automatically get a ballot in the mail.

Grand County Council

Five Grand County Council seats are up for grabs – everybody except for Chair Mary McGann and Vice Chair Jaylyn Hawks. This will be the final council election before a new form of government takes effect in January of 2023.

Voters in 2020 will decide just what form of government Grand County will have – a partisan, five-person council to handle legislative duties and a manager with oversight over the executive function of government, or a partisan three-person commission should voters reject the council form of government created by the Grand County Change in Form of Government Study Committee. In either event, candidates for the new form of government will be elected in 2022.

Typically four county council seats would be on the ballot, but Terry Morse’s midterm resignation from the District 1 seat – filled for the year ahead by Gabriel Woytek – created the fifth spot. The others are from District 2, Evan Clapper; District 4, Greg Halliday; and District 5, Rory Paxman; as well as the at large seat held by Curtis Wells.

Other county offices

Other offices subject to election this year are the Grand County treasurer, recorder, surveyor, assessor, as well as clerk-auditor, from which Baird will step down in a few weeks. The council is in the process of finding someone to fill his midterm vacancy.

Board of Education

The Grand County Board of Education has three seats up for election – District 2, including Moab Precinct 4; and District 3, including Moab precincts 5 and 11; and District 5, including Moab precincts 3 and 10.

Baird during a roundtable discussion held Jan. 14 said it’s possible the Moab Valley Fire District could also have an election, depending on whether new candidates compete for a seat on the board.

Important dates for candidates

The Declaration of Candidacy filing period for qualified political party candidates begins Friday, March 13 and ends at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19.

This is the same filing period for Board of Education candidates.

Justices and judges will file between Wednesday, July 1 and Wednesday, July 15.

The Declaration of Intent to Gather Signatures period for qualified political party candidates began Jan. 2 and ends at 5 p.m. March 19.

  • Presidential primary election: March 3
  • Primary election: June 30
  • General election: Nov. 3

Remember: All elections in Grand County are by mail.

Federal office

U.S. president and vice president, House of Representatives: First Congressional District, which includes Box Elder, Cache, Dagget, part of Davis, Duchesne, Morgan, Rich, Summit, Uintah and Weber counties; Second Congressional District, consisting of Beaver, part of Davis, Garfield, Iron, Part of Juab, Kane, Millard, Piute, part of Salt Lake, part of Sanpete, Sevier, Tooele, Washington and Wayne counties; Third Congressional District, consisting of Grand, Carbon, Emery, part of Salt Lake, San Juan, part of Utah, and Wasatch counties; and the Fourth Congressional District, including parts of Juab, Salt Lake, Sanpete and Utah counties.

State office

Attorney general, governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, and 14 state senate districts, including District 27, which includes Grand, Carbon, Emery, San Juan, Utah and Wasatch counties; and one member from each of Utah’s 75 state legislative districts.

Judicial

Assuming each file for another term, one Utah Supreme Court justice and six judges from the Utah Court of Appeals are subject to retention elections.