Perhaps one of the more interesting races coming up this next election cycle is for the nomination for Governor of Utah. Utah Democrats don’t have a chance of winning state-wide office anytime in the near future. Neither Sean Reyes, John Dougall, or Richard Ellis (Utah’s AG, Auditor, and Treasurer, respectively) look like they have serious in-party challengers (or challengers at all).
That leaves only Gary Herbert, governor since 2009, has a rival for the Republican Party’s nomination. That rival–Overstock.com chairman Jonathan Johnson–has his work cut out for him. It will pit Herbert’s “gut conservative” style against Johnson’s libertarian leanings and could allow voters the opportunity to consider candidates based on not only contrasting policy preferences, but different styles and approaches to governing.
But early polling indicates it will not be an easy race for Johnson.
In a poll by Dan Jones and Associates and posted by Bob Bernick on UtahPolicy.com, Herbert shows a commanding lead among Utah adults, ringing in with 59% of the vote. The poll has a 4% margin of error and appears to be of Utah adults, instead of likely Republican primary voters, which means Johnson can probably expect that his support may be a little better.
Still, it’s a mountain to climb and, in the post-SB 54 environment, may present an interesting race for voters to watch.