Laura Seitz, KSL, File

Wednesday numbers show Cox remains ahead of Huntsman in race for governor

By Graham Dudley, | Updated - Jul. 1, 2020 at 8:52 p.m. | Posted - Jul. 1, 2020 at 3:12 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — While election-night results provided valuable context in Utah's major races, there are still many ballots to be counted. A new batch of results, released Wednesday afternoon, reveals the gap has largely stayed the same between Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in their race for the GOP nomination for governor.

Cox went into the day with about 37% of the vote, leading Huntsman by more than 11,000 ballots. New Wednesday numbers put Cox in largely the same place, at 36.95% support to Huntsman's 34.18%.

The margin between the two men is now 11,676 ballots. More results are expected in the coming days.

On Wednesday evening, the state announced it estimates there are more than 111,500 ballots left to be counted across Utah. The state elections office made this estimate by surveying Utah's county clerks; Salt Lake County alone estimates it will process an additional 53,841 ballots before its numbers are final.

The elections office said it's possible county clerks could receive additional ballots after the estimate, as well. Ballots this election were allowed to be postmarked on Election Day itself.

Former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes and former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright conceded the race Wednesday morning after trailing significantly in early returns.

Meanwhile, the race to challenge Rep. Ben McAdams in Utah's 4th Congressional District has been all but decided already.

Former NFL safety Burgess Owens ran away with election-night returns with 43.59% of the vote, nearly 20 percentage points more than second-place Kim Coleman. The Associated Press has called the election in Owens' favor.

Here's how the other major races shook out after Wednesday's update:

Utah Attorney General

After election night, incumbent Attorney General Sean Reyes held a sizable advantage on Utah County Attorney David Leavitt, 54.44% to 45.56%. Wednesday's results moved that minimally to a 54.34% to 45.66% advantage for Reyes.

Reyes now leads Leavitt by 35,431 ballots.

Utah 1st Congressional District

The closest race of Tuesday evening was undoubtedly for the GOP nomination in the 1st District, with two candidates emerging from the four-person fray.

Blake Moore's advantage over Bob Stevenson is now at 30.25% to 29.38%, or 811 votes.

For the Democrats, Darren Parry still leads Jamie Cheek after Wednesday, now by a 52.61% to 47.39% margin.

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