UTAH CAPITOL – The election cycle is now in full swing. Today is the first day candidates can declare their intention to gather signatures to have their names placed on the November ballot. Some would-be politicians wasted no time in getting started.
One of the people declaring their intent to gather signatures is Democratic Senatorial candidate Mitchell Vice. He’s hoping this will be able to speak with more Democrats in Utah. Vice says, “From day one, we’re going to hit the ground and have the opportunity, through the signature gathering, to have more of a connection.”
Utah’s newest representative, John Curtis, filed at eight in the morning.
This isn’t a requirement for all candidates. Utah Elections Director Justin Lee says candidates could just take their chances with a primary election. He says, “There’s a scenario where you could say, ‘I’m going to gather signatures,’ but you never actually go collect those signatures.”
Lee says potential candidates still have plenty of time to declare if they’ll going to collect signatures. “This is the start of when you’re going to declare to gather signatures. That period runs all the way through the middle of March. So, we have two and a half months of guessing who is going to declare,” Lee says.
Some political analysts say declaring to gather signatures is an increasingly wise move a candidate could make. Morgan Lyon Cotte with the Hinckley Institute of Politics says, “We’ve seen very compelling convention speeches or cases made to delegates at the last minute can make a difference. So, even if you think you’re safe going into the convention, sometimes you aren’t”
The period to officially declare candidacy begins March 9th.
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