ST. GEORGE — Bolstered by large support in Southern Utah, Republicans Mitt Romney and Chris Stewart won their respective elections.
Romney will replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch in the U.S. Senate while Stewart will retain his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. Results show Romney winning with 60 percent of the vote in Utah, while Stewart won with 55 percent of the vote.
Read more: Southern Utah 2018 election results
In his victory speech, Romney said his success is a “call for greater dignity and respect.”
“It is an affirmation that regardless of our gender, our ethnicity, our sexual orientation, our race or our place of birth, that we are equal, not only in the eyes of God, but also in the respect and dignity we are due from government and from our fellow Americans,” Romney said.
He also spoke about his admiration for the “strong, positive campaign” of his main opponent Jenny Wilson, a Democrat, and how she is a long-time friend with him.
Wilson conceded the election to Romney by thanking the thousands of Utahns who supported her.
“This wasn’t the result we wanted, but that doesn’t take away from the lasting impact that the work we’ve done together will have on the state of Utah, both now and into the future,” Wilson said.
Some other politicians elected Tuesday in Southern Utah also spoke to St. George News about their victories.
Rep. V. Lowry Snow, a Republican from Santa Clara representing Utah House district 74, was reelected after winning 77 percent of the votes. Snow said he’s grateful for the support for people in his district.
“I’m humbled by their support, and I look forward to another two years serving them,” Snow said. “It’s a great honor and privilege.”
Rep. Brad Last, a Republican from Hurricane, was also reelected to serve another term to represent Utah House District 71. He said he was hopeful he would have a good night and is grateful to all the voters that helped him reach his ninth term in office.
For the next two years, Last said he plans to keep working for the community and continue to help develop economic opportunities around the state including the inland port northwest of Salt Lake City and the property near Draper prison, a blank slate that he believes has great possibilities.
Phil Lyman, a Republican county commissioner in San Juan County, won the election in House District 73 to replace retiring Rep. Mike Noel. Even though he won, he said he hopes to win the confidence of those who didn’t vote for him.
“I think the economy is always really important to people and this district is so affected by public lands and whether we’re talking education, or health care, or water or high-speed internet, any of those things it all is affected dramatically by public land decisions and public land policies. And I think people respect my stance in respect to the public lands,” Lyman said.
Evan Vickers, a Republican from Cedar City, was reelected to represent Utah Senate District 28 as well. He said it felt gratifying to receive support from members of the public again.
“I look forward to continuing to represent them the very best that I can,” he said. “I can also say that my opponent Mark Chambers was every bit the gentleman. He was easy to campaign with. He never included any negative comments or anything like that.”
Rex Shipp, a Republican from Iron County, also thanked his supporters for helping him get elected to represent Utah House District 72.
“I’m excited for it, frankly,” Shipp said. “I registered to start gathering signatures back in January, and so it’s been a long process and so I’m glad to know that the campaign’s over and I can prepare to go represent the citizens in my district.”
St. George News reporters Mikayla Shoup, Markee Heckenliable, Jeff Richards and Andrew Pinckney contributed to this report.
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