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Huntsman Headlines Primary Winners

Huntsman Headlines Primary Winners

Posted - Jun. 23, 2004 at 7:44 a.m.



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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Now that the Republican primary is out of the way, the GOP winners can start preparing for the November general election.

Jon Huntsman Junior was the big winner last night. He handily beat Nolan Karras in the gubernatorial race. Huntsman faces Democrat Scott Matheson Junior in November.

Huntsman cruised to victory, carrying 66 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting. About a half-hour after an Associated Press analysis of the early returns showed he would handily carry the vote, Huntsman took the dais at the old Union Pacific station in downtown Salt Lake City to announce Karras had conceded the race.

"Yes, we have challenges, but boy, do we have some opportunities," Huntsman told a cheering crowd of supporters.

Huntsman said he would need Karras' help and the support of many others in the coming race against Matheson. "This is going to be a campaign of inclusiveness, not exclusiveness," Huntsman said, one that would bring in "people who never thought they were Republican before."

Huntsman, a Bush administration diplomat who also worked as a White House aide under Ronald Reagan, had long been the strong favorite over Karras, a former Utah House speaker and Board of Regents chairman.

Karras has long acknowledged the uphill battle against Huntsman's name recognition. Huntsman is the oldest child of entrepreneur Jon Huntsman, who amassed a fortune of more than $2 billion with a conglomerate of chemical companies.

Karras said he wanted to show unity with Huntsman but didn't know how he actually would help with the campaign. "It will be up to him," Karras said. "I don't plan to be in harness day to day."

He said he was proud of how clean the race was. "When you're behind, the book is you go negative. We said `No, we're not going to do that,"' he said. "I really believe we ran a good campaign. So did Jon."

Incumbent Congressman Chris Cannon won in the Third District race by beating challenger Matt Throckmorton. Cannon now faces Democrat Beau Babka.

In the Second District, John Swallow defeated Tim Bridgewater in the primary. He faces Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson in November.

And turnout was light for the primary. Elections officials estimate the final turnout was somewhere around 15 percent.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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