ST. GEORGE — Based on preliminary election results, Gil Almquist and Rep. Brad Last are the winners of Tuesday’s Republican primary election in Washington County.
Almquist beat Allen Davis for seat A on the Washington County Commission. Last, the incumbent representing Utah House District 71 since 2003 beat challenger Mark Borowiak in Washington and Iron counties.
Almquist told St. George News he looks forward to being able to serve the people of Washington County as a commissioner. He thanked the voters and the people who worked on his campaign for his victory.
“Listening, learning and acting upon the facts – that is going to be my mantra from here going forward,” he said.
Almquist is a former St. George city councilman who also ran for Washington County Commission in 2016 but lost to Dean Cox by just 114 votes. If he wins the final election Nov. 6 against Democratic candidate Robert Ford, Almquist will serve alongside Cox and Victor Iverson at the inception of a four-year term.
“I have enjoyed meeting Ford and I look forward to learning more as the next months go forward and entertaining his presence in November,” Almquist said. “But as of tonight, I’m happy to be the Republican candidate to represent the county.”
The issues that Almquist said he cares about coincide with those of many of the voters in Washington County, including water, transportation, schools and safety.
“I’m ready and skilled and knowledgeable about those things, but by talking to the voters, it’s taken it to another level. Voters really just want to work, raise their families, enjoy their retirement if they’re retired, and they want to have faith in government that the right decisions will not hurt their goals to do those three things.”
Last told St. George News he’s happy the election turned out the way it did, and he respects Borowiak for “putting his name in the public arena” to challenge him.
“I think the voters are generally happy with the job that I’ve been doing in the state Legislature,” Last said.
Last will now face off against Chuck Goode, Democratic candidate for House District 71, in November. If he’s re-elected, Last said he hopes to work on the state budget and create a statewide plan to address school safety.
“There’s just all of the shootings that’s happened across the country – everyone’s concerned and nervous about (school safety). Even my wife, who’s a kindergarten teacher, told me she doesn’t want to be nervous when she goes to school.”
Elections carry a certain amount of stress with them, and Last said he’s just glad the primary is over.
“I consider it a real honor to be able to serve. I’m humbled by the amount of support I’ve received from the people in this area to go back for another term in the Legislature.”
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