Davis County Republicans fill Kevin Garn seat

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DAVIS COUNTY -- Davis County Republicans have chosen someone to fill the seat of former House Majority Leader Kevin Garn.

Delegates elected former Layton City Councilman Stephen Handy Saturday to serve District 16 until the end of the year. They also nominated him to run for the seat this November.

With 57 percent of the vote, Handy beat out Layton Christian Academy music pastor Chris Crowder, who gained 42 percent. Last month, Crowder filed a suit against Garn and others in Davis County politics, accusing them of intimidating him to quit his campaign.

Both Garn and former Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack left their Davis County seats this year in the midst of personal scandals.

Despite that, Republicans say the party remains strong.

"People are imperfect, but I think that the principles that we adhere to are correct principles, I think they're good principles, they're solid principles," said Todd Wieler, rules chairman of Davis County Conventions. "None of us are perfect, and I think all of us want to be judged by, you know, maybe on a curve and not by our very worst."

Delegates also voted for candidates in several other Davis County races who will face off in June's primaries.

Davis County Democrats also met in Layton for their convention Saturday.

Delegates heard from party members, including gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon.

Democratic leaders said with the way politics are playing out in Davis County, now may be the time for voters to pay attention to their party.

"Here in Davis County we have some of the best candidates I've ever seen -- new people, young people rising up who want to do what's right for their communities, not what's right for their pocketbooks," said Rob Miller, chairman of the Davis County Democratic Party.

Party leaders also said they feel it's time to take power back from Republican leadership and bring new voices to Utah politics.

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