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Two Utah gubernatorial candidates drop challenge to requirements during coronavirus

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two Utah gubernatorial candidates whose campaigns were stymied by the coronavirus crisis have ended legal pushes to get on the primary ballot.

Developer Jan Garbett, a Republican, ended her lawsuit over the weekend, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. She had argued that the state didn’t do enough to accommodate the difficulties created by the pandemic, which canceled large gatherings and made door knocking nearly impossible.

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Fellow Republican and Provo businessman Jeff Burningham had joined her push. A judge rejected his arguments but agreed to lower the thresholds for Garbett, who entered the race as a Republican skeptical of President Donald Trump.

But even with the lowered requirements, Garbett’s signatures were short because too many were declared invalid. A signature can be declared invalid if the person wasn’t registered as a Republican or had already endorsed another gubernatorial candidate’s petition.

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The end of the lawsuit means four candidates will appear on the GOP primary ballot: Former state House Speaker Greg Hughes, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, ex-U.S.-Russia Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr. and former GOP chair Thomas Wright.

Republican incumbent Gary Herbert is not running again.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...