Witt Scores Historic First
Cache Valley Daily, April 10, 2020
KAYSVILLE — In a historic first, Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt’s name will appear on the ballot for the Utah GOP primary on June 30. Witt is running to replace outgoing U.S. Rep Rob Bishop in Congress. Her inclusion on the primary ballot will mark the first time that a woman has been in serious contention for the seat in Utah’s 1st Congressional District. Republican political candidates normally earn their places on the primary ballot by being selected by delegates to the State Party Convention, which is slated for Saturday, April 25. But Witt took advantage of a 2014 change to Utah election laws that allows candidates to avoid the risk of failing to be nominated by their party’s convention by gathering signatures from registered voters. The threshold for reaching the primary ballot via signature gathering is 7,000 for congressional candidates. Of the 12 candidates seeking the GOP nomination in the 1st District, only Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson has also qualified for the primary ballot via signature gathering. Although most of Witt’s rivals in the 1st District race had also signaled their intent to collect voter signatures, their efforts were frustrated in mid-March by the imposition of social distancing guidelines due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Gary Herbert threw a lifeline to those candidates by issuing an executive order that allowed signature gathering to resume via online means. But some campaigns have said that process is so complicated that meeting the signature threshold is “practically impossible.” Witt was elected mayor of Kaysville in 2017 and has led that community in the development of a comprehensive 20-year strategic plan for infrastructure improvements without raising taxes. She is also a member of the Women’s State Legislative Council. If elected to the Congress, Witt promises to be a combative voice in Washington D.C. “I’m running for Congress because radical liberals … are threatening our Republic and everything we hold dear … I have stood toe-to-toe with liberals and beat them before. I’m ready to do it again in Washington.” Witt and Stevenson will share the June 30 primary ballot with up to two candidates selected by delegates to the GOP State Convention on April 25. Due to the continuing threat of the Coronavirus, Republican Party officials plan to host the convention via online technology. Other GOP candidates who have filed in the 1st District race are Tina Cannon, JC DeYoung, Douglas Durbano, Chadwick H. Fairbanks III, Kerry Gibson, Zach Hartman, Catherine Brenchley Hammon, Blake D. Moore, Mark Shepard and Howard Wallack.