1st District U.S. House hopefuls vie for support at GOP, Democratic conventions

1st District U.S. House hopefuls vie for support at GOP, Democratic conventions

OGDEN — The crowded field of contenders for the 1st District U.S. House post, now numbering 14, should be pared back considerably by Saturday.

Voting started on Thursday among Republican delegates from the 1st District on the 12 GOP hopefuls for the post, now held by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, who’s not seeking reelection to the seat. Democrats weigh in on the two Democratic contenders at their virtual party convention on Saturday.

On the GOP side, there will be at least two contenders in the June 30 primary — Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt and Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson. Both petitioned for spots on the ballot and each successfully garnered the 7,000 signatures needed from Republicans in the district to do so. Depending on vote totals, as many as two more Republican hopefuls could emerge from the virtual GOP convention, which started with electronic voting on Wednesday and goes through 5 p.m. on Saturday.

If neither of the Democratic contenders — Jamie Cheek and Darren Parry — get 60% or more of the vote in the party convention, both face off at the June 30 primary. If one of them gets 60% or more of the vote, however, he or she will be the sole party nominee and earn a place on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Concerns about spreading coronavirus have largely prevented person-to-person campaigning, according to the candidates and delegates. Instead, the candidates have used social media, phone calls, electronic town hall meetings and other virtual means to muster support.

Following are brief looks at the candidates, pulling from material they submitted to their parties as part of the convention process. The winner of the Republican primary and the Democrat who emerges from the convention or primary will face off on Nov. 3 for the Northern Utah congressional posting.


Jamie Cheek: Cheek, from Ogden, works in vocational rehabilitation and said her family struggled as she grew up, relying on social services.

"She knows what’s it like to struggle and find success. She is focused on the values that matter to Utahns, because we do better when we all do better," according to her statement on the Democratic convention website.

Darren Parry: Parry, from Providence, is councilman with the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. He cited his involvement with a variety of Native American, environmental and other groups.

"He has managed inspiring accomplishments within his tribal nation as well as leading social unity and education. It is important to him that all peoples perspectives are heard and respected," he said in his statement.


Tina Cannon: Cannon, in her second term as a Morgan County Councilwoman, cited her public service and business involvement. Her experience "gives Tina the qualifications needed to know how to restore our economy, reduce the federal tax burden on Utah families and businesses while balancing the federal budget and reducing public debt," she said in her written convention statement.

JC DeYoung: DeYoung, involved in building software and hardware systems, calls herself a "staunch supporter" of President Donald Trump. "She will implement her strong background in quality, process excellence and analysis as a Republican lawmaker in Washington, D.C. JC’s education and experience will amplify her impact in defending the Constitution," her statement said.

Doug Durbano: Durbano, a businessman and lawyer who lives in Mountain Green, touts himself as a "watchdog" for families, businesses and land rights.

"Truth is… I’ve had enough — enough of the wasteful spending, special interests and unelected bureaucracies. I’m a constitutional attorney and businessman with 35 years of experience dealing with out-of-control government and I’m not afraid to hold it accountable," he said.

Chadwick Fairbanks III: Fairbanks, from Summit County, unsuccessfully vied in 2018 for the GOP nomination in the 1st District contest. He previously worked in U.S. Army intelligence and cited his involvement with veterans.

Fairbanks calls himself "a lifelong conservative that firmly believes in the founding principles of the United States Constitution."

Kerry Gibson: Gibson, from the West Weber area of Weber County, previously served as Weber County commissioner and commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

"Kerry is a dedicated father, husband and public servant with a proven conservative track record," his statement says. If elected, he would "fight for conservative Utah values."

Catherine Brenchley Hammon: Hammon, originally from Weber County but now living in Murray, cited her work as a teacher and her family involvement.

"I still work as a homemaker and now manager of rental properties and volunteer for my church and PTA," she said. Her involvement with the Republican party started while living in Maryland, when her husband worked for U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Zach Hartman: Hartman, now living in Summit County, works for a land brokerage and advisory firm and has advised the major landowners involved in the Inland Port project. He put the focus on his professional work.

"Working across the U.S.A. with large corporations, including the Koch Brothers, and small farmers alike has given me decades of experience in creating jobs, capital investment and economic growth. Land is my passion," he said.

Blake Moore: Moore, who works for a management consulting firm in Salt Lake City and is originally from Ogden, cited his work in the foreign and intelligence service.

"He knows how to navigate the complexities of the federal government, understanding what is vital and what is wasteful," his statement said. He’s running "to ensure conservative leadership has a long future in our country."

Mark Shepherd: Shepherd, the mayor of Clearfield, said he’d defend the U.S. Constitution, Hill Air Force Base and second-amendment rights. He’d defend U.S. borders "while standing firm for legal immigration opportunities" and balance the budget and control federal spending.

"Mark is not running against anyone but is running for the citizens of Utah’s 1st Congressional District," according to his statement.

Bob Stevenson: Stevenson cited his experience, currently as Davis County commissioner and previously as Layton mayor, as well as his "conservative Republican" principles.

"I have always been known as a public official who ‘gets things done.’ That is my commitment to you — to Get Things Done!" he said.

Howard Wallack: Wallack, living in Summit County, cited his business experience, notably his efforts to develop a trucking company.

"I understand free-market capitalism is one of the most significant forces for good in the world, and I believe in the spirit of the American Dream, but we must fight to get our nation back on track," he said.

Katie Witt: Witt, the Kaysville mayor, would "preserve freedom, expand opportunity and reignite patriotism," she said.

She continued: "I will oppose the leftward lurch to socialism and stand with President Trump to complete the wall. My promise to you is simple: I will always be Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Trump, and most importantly, Pro-YOU!"

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