Now that the 2013 off-year elections are over, what’s on tap for Utah in 2014?
While there’s no big statewide races at the top of the ballot, 3/4 of the races for Utah’s House seats are already underway. Aside from the already high-profile possible rematch between Mia Love and Jim Matheson, we may see another rematch in the 1st Congressional District between Republican Rob Bishop and Democrat Donna McAleer. McAleer will need a much stronger showing in 2014 as she only grabbed a smidgen over 24% of the vote in 2012.
1st Congressional District
Rob Bishop (R)
Donna McAleer (D)
2nd Congressional District
Chris Stewart (R)
Luz Robles (D)
3rd Congressional District
Jason Chaffetz (R)
4th Congressional District
Jim Matheson (D)
Mia Love (R), Bob Fuehr (R)
Speaking of that Love/Matheson rematch. If it comes to be, we could see upwards of $5 million in spending on that race.
Additionally, every single Utah House seat will be up for grabs along with half of the State Senate. Democrats would need a net pickup of 5 seats in the Senate and 12 in the House to break the veto-proof majority held by Republicans. Some of the high profile races we can expect to see this time around:
Four of the five Democrats in the Senate are up for election after sitting out 2012. Only Luz Robles, who is launching a Congressional campaign, is safe this time around.
Longtime Democrat Pat Jones is retiring from her 4th District seat. Former Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero has already launched his campaign to return to Capitol Hill, but some big-name Democrats are also rumored to be looking at this seat. Expect Republicans to be big players here as well.
Current Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis is facing a possible challenge from within his own party.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart is retiring from the Legislature, possibly for a rumored run at governor in 2016. Not much chance (okay, zero) of a Democrat winning this seat. Expect her replacement to join the already powerful Utah County cabal in the Legislature.
Republicans will likely make a major push to win some Democratic-held seats they targeted and lost in 2012, including Carol Spackman Moss, Janice Fisher, Larry Wiley, Mark Wheatley and Marie Poulson.
Democrats should make another run at some Republican-held seats they came close to grabbing in 2012, a list that includes Jerry Anderson, Craig Hall and Johnny Anderson.