Buzz: Who will replace Senator John Valentine? [UPDATED]

Capitol at night

John Valentine

[UPDATED 8/14/ 2014 11:00 AM] Sumpsion announced via email to delegates that he will run for Valentine’s seat.

[UPDATED 8/7/2014 9:00 AM] See update below for  Greene.

[UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM]  See updates below for Philpot, Jackson, Sumsion, Kane, Stratton, Kennedy, and Herrod. 


With Senator John Valentine resigning to accept Governor Gary Herbert’s appointment as head of the Utah Tax Commission, it took all of a Utah County Minute for speculation to commence on who would replace him.

Here’s the list, so far (and we’ll update it as more buzz emerges)(that’s right, “buzz”):

Brian Greene: A member of the Utah House of Representatives since January of 2013 and a small business owner and attorney. [UPDATED 8/7/2014 9:00 AM] Greene has is satisfied with the candidates coming forward to fill the open seat and that he would prefer to honor his commitment to his constituents, and so he will not run.

Morgan Philpot: A former member of the Utah House of Representatives, former candidate for Congress, and attorney. Philpot may be precluded from running, however, due to residency requirements. [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:15 AM]: though mentioned early on in an autodial poll, Philpot only moved into the district recently and will not be eligible to run.

Holly Richardson: A former member of the Utah House of Representatives, midwife, and Communications and Marketing Coordinator of the Utah Office of Energy Development, not to mention mother of many and prolific blogger.

Al Jackson: A former legislative director for Boeing, Jackson is a local businessman. [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM] Sources close to Jackson indicate that the Eagle Forum’s Gayle Ruzicka has begun contacting delegates to rally support for Jackson’s candidacy.

Ken Sumsion: A former member of the Utah House of Representatives, active Republican leader, and Administrative Solutions Consultant at Brigham Young University [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM] An unofficial poll on a Republican social media group puts Sumsion at the top of the list, though chatter indicates that Sumsion is not interested. [UPDATED 8/14/ 2014 11:00 AM] Sumpsion has since stated that he will run.

Mike Kennedy: A member of the Utah House of Representatives since January of 2013 and both a doctor and a lawyer. [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM] Kennedy tells the Daily Herald’s Billy Hesterman that he’s not interested. 

Christy Kane: A Republican activist, member of the local planning and zoning commission, and radio talk show personality, as well as a former candidate for the Utah House of Representatives. [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM] Kane has already begun campaigning, sending an email to delegates announcing her campaign.

Keven Stratton: A member of the Utah House of Representatives since appointment in May of 2012, an attorney, businessman, and farmer. [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM] Buzz around the capitol marks Stratton as an earlyleaders in the race.

Steve Sandstrom: A former member of the Utah House of Representatives, former candidate for Congress, and architect.

Chris Herrod: A former member of the Utah House of Representatives,  a former candidate for the US Senate , and a real estate development investor. [UPDATED 8/6/2014 11:00 AM]  Mentioned, but he lives in the wrong district.

Who else? Who have you heard will put their name in the hat for consideration?

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