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Murray Journal

Meet the general election candidates hoping to represent Murrayites

Aug 03, 2022 08:24PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Many Murrayites will see new candidates on their November election ballot, as redistricting changed boundaries that were set 10 years ago. The primary election on June 28 also provided one surprise: Senate 13 incumbent Gene Davis lost his seat to Democrat challenger Nate Blouin.

Senate 13

Davis, who represented Murray west of State Street for decades, lost his seat to Nate Blouin’s landslide victory, claiming 76% of the primary election vote. Davis’s defeat opens the door for Republicans to claim the seat held by Democrats for the last 30 years.

Blouin lists his occupation as a Renewable Energy Advocate. He has been a member of the Salt Lake County Open Space Trust Fund Committee and the SLCC alumni board. His Republican opponent, Roger Stout, emerged from the GOP’s convention without a primary election opponent. According to his election conflict of interest statement, he is currently retired.

Senate 14

With Sen. Jani Iwamoto stepping down, Murray’s eastside will have new representation in the Utah Senate.

Current House Rep. Stephanie Pitcher (D) had an official primary challenge from Deondra Brown to run for the open Senate seat. Pitcher, an attorney, solidly defeated Brown, a musician from the 5 Browns classical piano ensemble, 79% to 21%.

Two candidates are up against Pitcher in the general election: Dan Sorensen and Dennis Roach. Sorensen, a Republican, had no convention or primary contest. He is owner of the Granite Insurance Agency.

Roach is running as a member of the United Utah Party. He is a Holladay City Planning Commission member, and he listed his profession on his campaign documents as a call center manager for the TruGreen lawn care company.

House 34

Eastern Murray’s District 34 race features Democrat incumbent Carol Spackman Moss, a former educator, who is vying for her 13th term in office. She was first elected in 2001. Moss fended off a challenge in the Democratic Convention from Jonathon Paz.

Her Republican challenger, John McPhie, lists his profession as retired, but he was an owner or officer in SLAA Capital, JLB Associates, and the Gordon Burt Affleck Foundation. He also has served on the board for Raise the Future, a nonprofit supporting youth in foster care and their families.

House 35

Democrat Mark Wheatley, SLCC administrator, is attempting to secure his 10th term in office. He was first elected in 2005. His district covers the majority of Murray City.

General election challenger, Republican Belinda Johnson, serves on the Murray City School District Board of Education. Johnson owns the J&B Johnson Properties property management company and co-owns a Farm Bureau Financial Services insurance agency with her husband.

House 40

Southcentral Murray’s Democratic incumbent, Andrew Stoddard, is seeking a third term. He currently works in Murray City’s General Counsel office.

Stoddard is facing two challengers, Thomas Young and Tim Loftis. Young, a Republican, was formerly an economist at the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst; he now works for Econometric Studios. He also serves on the board of directors for the American Preparatory Academy and is on the board of trustees at the Utah Foundation.

United Utah Party candidate Loftis lists his profession as Mountain West Region Equipment Finance Executive for Med One Group. In addition, he was publicly involved with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) and the Downtown Alliance, and was a corporate recruiter for Salt Lake City Corp.

House 41

Murray’s southeast neighborhoods will decide whether to re-elect Democrat Gay Lynn Bennion to her second term.

Republicans held a primary election between cleaning services owner Steven Aste and Granite Mills Woodworking owner Wayne Gary Sandberg. Sandberg claimed 58% of the vote to Aste’s 42%. Sandberg has served on the University of Utah Fine Arts Advisory Board.

State School Board District 5

Redistricting split Murray between two State School Board districts. District 7 covers southeast Murray and has no active race this year, and District 5 covers west and northeast Murray.

Republican candidate Laurel Fetzer lists her professions as registered dietitian nutritionist and certified functional medicine practitioner. Her children attended Murray schools, and she was a PTA president.

Sarah Reale, the Democratic candidate, works as Director of Digital Marketing at Salt Lake Community College. Her public experience includes Ballpark Community Council Vice Chair.

An Independent candidate, William Fisher, identifies his profession as a freelance writer and editor, as well as a secondary school and college English and writing tutor.

Granite District Precinct 2

The next school board election for the Twin Peaks and Woodstock Elementary school neighborhoods will happen in 2024.

Murray School Board precinct 2

Incumbent Kami Anderson represents southwest Murray. Former president of the Murray Education Foundation, she is also a data analyst for IHC. Challenger Jessica Miller is the managing member/owner of College Success Advocate, a college student support firm, and she has worked for the Utah System of Higher Education.

Murray School Board precinct 3

The board race for Murray City School District’s northeast precinct features April Wilde Despain against Jill Weight. According to Despain’s website, she is currently homeschooling her children; no profession was listed. Weight, a former school teacher, has served on advisory panels for the Utah State Office of Education.

Murray School Board precinct 4

Cheree Larson is taking on incumbent Elizabeth Payne in central Murray School District precinct 4. Larson stated she was PTA president and the Murray High School Boys’ Volleyball director.

Information about voter registration and who will appear on your ballot can be found at Election Day is Nov. 8.