ST. GEORGE – Though each race in Tuesday’s primary election received additional votes as interim results were published Friday, the outcome remains unchanged. This includes the Republican nomination for the Washington County Commission where an upset may still occur.
According to Friday’s interim results Dean Cox leads fellow Republican Gil Almquist at 7,121 votes to 6,985. The lead may grow or shrink by the next update set for Tuesday based on how many mail-in ballots the Washington County Clerk’s office has yet to count and record.
Under a new law passed by the Legislature this year, county clerk offices are able to post intermittent results based on mail-in ballot returns on Tuesdays and Fridays between the primary election and the official canvasing date. Official canvassing is set for July 12.
“This provision of the law allows time to complete the ballot count and conduct a thorough audit of the election results to ensure accuracy,” the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office said in a general statement released to multiple media agencies regarding the new process.
Though he has a 136-vote lead for now, nearly double that of Tuesday’s initial results, Cox is not declaring victory and said he prefers to wait for the final results.
“I want to be respectful of the clerk-auditor and those people who are working so hard to get an accurate count,” Cox said, adding he is nonetheless pleased with the results thus far.
Almquist, who couldn’t be reached for comment Friday, has not conceded the race and has previously indicated that he will take a “wait and see” approach as the interim ballots results come in.
Both candidates have thanked those who have supported them during their campaigns as well as crediting each other with running clean and professional campaigns free of negativity.
Currently servicing as the Washington County Administrator, Cox announced he would retire from that position Aug. 15 whatever the final outcome of the election is.
“If I lose the election and retire I can focus on being the world’s best grandpa,” Cox said with a laugh.
While he has been involved in the Republican Party, the County Commission race is the first public office Cox has run for. He has also been heavily involved in facets of the county’s emergency services in the past.
Almquist served on the St. George City Council for eight years and also served on the city’s Planning Commission before that. He currently serves as the president of the Bloomington Hills Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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