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SALT LAKE CITY — With the Associated Press declaring him as winner of the GOP primary for the 1st Congressional District, businessman Blake Moore is ready for a Democratic challenger.
The Democratic primary, however, is still too close to call.
“We are going to get ready for the general campaign. It’s exciting. I’m just thrilled for our team, they’ve worked incredibly hard and I think its time to sort of meet and look at what the next few months look like,” Moore said. “We are going to get right to it and go out to earn the votes of all of CD1.”
Moore, a former foreign service officer, leads Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson by 2,837 votes — widening his margin by an additional 168 votes with Monday’s update.
The race has remained close between Moore and Stevenson since initial numbers were released June 30. Moore has held a lead throughout the week, widening the gap slightly with each update. He won 30.9% of the vote to Stevenson’s 28.7%.
Moore said it’s been an honor to be in the race and complimented his opponents for their “tough campaigns.”
“People get into this to make a difference and do something good for our community, our state, our county and it’s an honor to have been in this race with them,” Moore said. “I hope to work with them a lot in the future.”
Stevenson extended his congratulations to Moore’s campaign and said he will call and tell them personally when he returns to town.
“It was a great campaign by all four candidates and I congratulate all on this great American process,” Stevenson said.
The 1st Congressional District seat is open for the first time in nearly two decades with the retirement of Republican Rep. Rob Bishop. The district covers a swath of northern Utah, into Summit County and extends up over to the Uinta Basin.
Not all of the counties in 1st District updated vote counts Monday. Cache County and Summit County, which has about 200 ballots left to be counted, told KSL that an update may come Tuesday. Davis County reported all ballots on hand have been counted.
Other Republican candidates were dairy farmer Kerry Gibson, who netted 24% of the vote, and Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt with 17%.
“I entered the race standing for freedom and I am humbled by the outpouring of support we continue to see for reopening America and restoring our constitutional freedoms,” Witt said in a statement Monday. “There is a lot going on in society right now that is designed to tear us apart, so we need to come together as one nation, one people and with one purpose. I’m committed to ensuring that America remains the beacon of hope for the world.”
Gibson could not be reached for comment.
Former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation Darren Parry, who currently serves on the tribe’s council, leads with 50.9% of the vote. Jamie Cheek, a first-generation college graduate and a Utah State Office of Rehabilitation district director, has 49.1%.
Parry said he thinks this race “will go down to the wire.” He said he feels good about Monday’s numbers.
The two candidates are separated by 424 votes.
“We are feeling really excited. We always felt like we had a better chance in November than in June because I’m a moderate,” he said. “So if we can get over this hurdle we feel really good about the coming race.”
Blake Schapiro, Cheek’s campaign manager, acknowledged the closeness of the race and said they are awaiting future results.
“This race continues to tighten with every release of ballot returns,” Schapiro said. “Our campaign promised to ensure every last vote is counted before a result is declared. It is our hope that this week will provide more clarity. However, as things remain, this race is just too close to call.