LAYTON — Utah state Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, is launching a write-in campaign to win his seat back.
Handy told KSL NewsRadio he believes he can win, despite losing to GOP conservative Trevor Lee at the Davis County Convention in April. At that time, county GOP delegates picked Lee as the party nominee.
“We’ve done a lot of analysis and study, and believe — although this is going to be very difficult and very expensive — there is a path to victory,” Handy said.
Handy formally announced his campaign Tuesday evening.
Before April’s convention, Handy chose not to gather signatures — Utah’s other route to the ballot.
Republicans Handy and Lee and Libertarian Brent Zimmerman will all be running for the District 16 seat this November. Handy currently represents the district in Layton, which also includes parts of Clearfield and South Weber. There are no Democrats running for the seat.
The uphill battle ahead for Steve Handy
Handy said he recognizes the uphill battle of a write-in campaign. He will need voters to, quite literally, write in his name on the ballot while the other candidates will have their names printed.
“That means we will have to have a massive information campaign,” Handy said.
Despite this, he believes that his path to a successful write-in bid lies in the fact that Utahns vote by mail. He says mail-in balloting gives people time to research candidates.
Further, he says that since there’s no more straight-party voting — where people just check a box and vote for all Republicans or Democrats down the ballot — voters have to stop and think about the person who will get their vote.
Even still, Handy says no Utah legislative candidate in recent history has successfully won as a write-in candidate.
“People can make history with this and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said.
Handy’s GOP opponent ‘not worried’
The other Republican opponent, Trevor Lee, says he’s not worried about his new inter-party challenger.
“My opponent can’t accept the results of the election, but the fact is Utahns are struggling with high inflation. My opponent has a record of voting to raise taxes on gas and groceries,” Lee said.
“Our district needs a representative with a fresh perspective that is focused on putting their needs ahead of special interests. As the Republican nominee for House District 16, I will continue to listen and prepare to take action on important issues to our district,” Lee said.