Brooks takes House District 75 race

Walt Brooks at a debate with opponent Steve Kemp for House District 75, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Initial results from early voting and mail-in ballots placed Walt Brooks in the lead for the Republican nomination for House District 75 Tuesday, and Brooks maintained the lead as the night wore one.

Walt Brooks at a debate with opponent Steve Kemp. Both are candidates for the Republican nomination for House District 75, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Walt Brooks at a debate with opponent Steve Kemp for House District 75, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

When the last of the ballots in Washington County were counted for the night, Brooks led opponent Steve Kemp by nearly 15 points. Brooks garnered 2,085 votes – 57.33 percent – to Kemp’s 1,552 votes.

The numbers are preliminary, however, as additional mail-in ballots have yet to be received and processed.

Should Brooks maintain his lead, he will enter the general election unopposed as there is no Democratic or third-party candidates running for the position.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Brooks said Tuesday night. “I really am humbled by the support I received.”

Brooks went on to thank Kemp for running a campaign that was “amazingly clean and professional.”

Though he appears to have won the primary, Brooks said the final numbers won’t be in for another two weeks. Election officials have this Friday, and then Tuesday and Friday next week to process any lingering mail-in ballots. The official canvass will be done by July 11.

“We’ll see how it works out,” Brooks said, adding that he is grateful for all the support he has received up to this point.

“I am excited to serve,” he said.

Kemp also complimented Brooks for a clean and professional campaign.

“I have respect for him,” Kemp said. “He kept it above board.”

Though the final results could potentially slide in Kemp’s, he congratulated Brooks on a job well done.

Steve Kemp at a debate with opponent Walt Brooks. Both are candidates for the Republican nomination for House District 75, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Steve Kemp at a debate with opponent Walt Brooks for House District 75, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the process and I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I’m proud of the type of race I ran and I thank the people who supported me.”

Still, Kemp said he was disappointed there wasn’t a larger turnout for the House District 75 race. Out of 17,233 registered voters, just 3,785 ballots have been recorded thus far.

Brooks and Kemp share similar opinions on many issues save one: the Lake Powell Pipeline.

While Kemp supports the pipeline as long as it is financially feasible and the cost is shared by all of Utah. Brooks, on the other hand, said other options should be considered first and the Lake Powell Pipeline should be treated as a last resort.

According to campaign finance disclose records, Kemp’s campaign received a total of $19,455 in contributions and spent $17,266. In contrast, Brooks’ campaign spent $1,422 out of the $1,430 it received in contributions.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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Posted in General Election 2016, Government, Local, News, PoliticsTagged , , , ,

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