This year’s Election Day is November 8, 2022. In addition to getting to know the issues and candidates, savvy voters will also want to refresh themselves on the new congressional, state, and local voting districts produced in 2020 through the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years.
In the biggest change, Grand County’s state representation will change after redistricting unified the county in Utah House District 69, where Republican Representative Phil Lyman will contend with Democrat Davina Smith in this fall’s election.
New county voting districts become official on Jan. 1 of 2023. Because current commissioner terms end in 2022 and 2024, this means there will be a transition from the old districts, which commissioners currently represent, and the new districts, which they’ll represent beginning in the new year.
“That is one of the peculiarities of the situation,” said Grand County Clerk/Auditor Gabriel Woytek.
Voters will receive ballots reflecting the new districts this coming Election Day, even though those districts won’t technically be in effect for a couple more months. To view the new district maps, visit www.grandcountyutah.net/769/Election-Maps.
Several county positions are up for vote. Current County Attorney Christina Sloan is running against local attorney Stephen Stocks (the two also ran against each other in 2018; Sloan prevailed with 56% of the vote). Both Sloan and Stocks are unaffiliated with a political party.
Current Commissioner Mary McGann, unaffiliated, is running against Republican candidate Lori McFarland to represent District 4, the part of town between 400 East and Mill Creek Drive (where it’s oriented north/south), and north of Holyoak Lane. (McGann currently holds an at-large seat on the commission, but because of the new district maps that take effect in 2023, she’s running for a new district.) McGann has a background in education, grew up in Grand County and has served on the commission since 2015. McFarland, a resident of Moab for decades, co-owns long standing local guide and outfitter business High Point Hummer. She’s been active in local debates about traffic noise and UTV businesses; High Point Hummer is participating in a lawsuit against Grand County and Moab City over noise and business licensing regulations.
Candidates Steve Getz, unaffiliated, and Mike McCurdy, Republican, are running for Commission District 5, which includes Spanish Valley west of Pack Creek and south of Holyoak Lane. Getz has lived in Moab for over a decade, holds a degree in environmental science, and has volunteered with and served on the boards of many local nonprofits. He applied for a vacancy on the commission earlier this year, which ultimately went to current commissioner Sarah Stock. McCurdy grew up in Grand County and worked for 13 years at City Market; he now works for a property management company. McCurdy ran for Moab City Council in 2021.
Bill Winfield and Emily Campbell, both unaffiliated, are vying for an at-large seat on the County Commission. Winfield is a lifelong local resident and a builder and developer; he’s volunteered with various nonprofits and ran for the office of mayor for Moab City in 2021. Campbell is currently the chair of the Grand County Planning Commission. She’s lived in Grand County for over a decade and has contributed to various nonprofits and volunteered for county and school organizations and initiatives. Republican Norm Knapp and Democrat Robert O’Brien have both withdrawn their candidacies for the at-large commission seat.
Current Grand County Sheriff Steve White is retiring from his position, leaving the office open to two new candidates: Jamison Wiggins, who grew up in Moab and became a Sheriff’s Deputy in 2017; and Curt Brewer, who also grew up in Grand County and has served in the GCSO for decades.
Candidates Sam Van Wetter and Charlie Harrison are running to represent the Moab Valley Fire District. There are also several positions with only one candidate. Current County Clerk/Auditor Gabriel Woytek, unaffiliated, is running for reelection unopposed; candidate Rachel Stenta withdrew from the race. Woytek was appointed to the position in March after former Clerk/Auditor Quinn Hall took a position as Associate County Administrator. Katherine Williams is running unopposed to continue serving on the Grand County School District, representing District 1. Candidate Deeway Wardle is also running for Grand County School District, running unopposed to represent District 5.
Commissioners Josie Kovash and Sarah Stock are not running for reelection. Kovash was appointed to the commission this April to replace Woytek when he left the commission to take on the role of Clerk/Auditor; Stock was appointed to the commission in January to replace former commissioner Jaylyn Hawks, who stepped down from the position when she left Moab for an extended residence in Japan.
The Utah legislature approved new state and congressional district maps in a special session in 2021, following the redistricting process in 2020. Many Utahns opposed the maps, which favored drafts drawn by a legislative committee rather than an independent redistricting commission—but that didn’t deter Governor Spencer Cox from signing the new maps into law. For elections taking place this year, those districts go into effect in this election cycle. Grand County is now no longer split between districts: all of Grand County is within State House District 69, State Senate District 26, U.S. House District 3, and State School Board District 14.
Candidates Phil Lyman (Republican), and Davina Smith (Democrat), are running for Utah House District 69, which will represent Grand County following this fall’s election. Formerly, part of Grand County was represented by Rep. Carl Albrecht, Republican, District 70; and Christine Watkins, Republican, District 69. Lyman previously served on the San Juan County Commission and made headlines when he was convicted of misdemeanor trespassing for his role in a protest ride in 2014 in Recapture Canyon, which was closed by the Bureau of Land Management at the time. Smith is from Monument Valley and is a member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe.
For Congress, incumbent Senator Mike Lee (Republican), is opposed by several candidates: the unaffiliated Evan McMullin, Independent American Tommy Williams, and Libertarian James Arthur Hansen. There are also three write-in candidates campaigning for the seat: Laid Fetzer Hamblin, Abraham Korb, and Michael Seguin.
Incumbent U.S. House Representative John Curtis, who represents Grand County as part of Congressional District 3, is running against Constitution Party candidate Daniel Clyde Cummings, Independent American Aaron Heineman, Libertarian Michael R. Stoddard, and Democrat Glenn J. Wright.
To view the new state and congressional district maps, visit le.utah.gov/redistrictingMaps.html.