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  Jon Hunstman Jr. and Nolan Karras face June primary for the Republican nomination for governor
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Last EditedArmyDem  May 08, 2004 10:00pm
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MediaNewspaper - Salt Lake Tribune
News DateSaturday, May 8, 2004 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe Salt Lake Tribune

Jon Hunstman Jr. and Nolan Karras will face a June 22 primary for the GOP nomination to run for governor, party officials announced late Saturday. Incumbent Gov. Olene Walker and five other candidates were eliminated at the Republican State Convention.

Hunstman, 44, a businessman and diplomat carried 51 percent of the delegate vote; Karras, 59, chairman of the State Board of Regents, claimed 49 percent.

Walker, who became Utah's first woman governor last November, did not emerge from the convention despite being a favorite among Utahns. A Salt Lake Tribune poll this week of registered voters placed Walker more than 14 percentage points ahead of her nearest challenger, Huntsman, but with many of those polled -- 40 percent -- undecided.

Her remaining months as a lame duck could spell the end of a state government career spanning more than two decades, including eight years in the Legislature and the past 11 as lieutenant to Gov. Mike Leavitt. She took over for Leavitt last November when he was appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hunstman is the son of Jon Hunstman Sr., a wealthy businessman who has donated millions to Utah organizations. Karras spent the 1980s in the Utah Legislature, reaching the position of House speaker before stepping down in 1990. Karras's choice of former U.S. Rep. Enid Greene as his running mate likely helped him with GOP insiders, who last year elected Greene vice chairwoman of the state Republican Party. But it could also hurt him in the primary with as voters recall the campaign finance scandal that drove her from office in 1996.
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