Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox won the Republican gubernatorial primary in Utah on Monday, edging former Gov. Jon Huntsman by only two points, The New York Times reported.
The result comes almost a week after the election, which took place on June 30. With his win, Cox will likely become Utah’s next governor due to the state’s conservative lean, but his victory comes after a close primary that drew endorsements from the current governor and Sen. Mike Lee.
Huntsman, the most moderate candidate in the race, had called for Independents and Democrats to change their party affiliation ahead of the primary in order to vote for him. In the past few months, thousands of Utah residents have done so, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
In addition to Huntsman, Jim Dabakis, a former Democratic member of the Utah legislature, also urged Democrats to register as Republicans, arguing that switching parties would give them a larger voice. Republicans in the Beehive State outnumber registered Democrats 54%-30%, according to the Pew Research Center.
Cox is now set to face Democratic nominee Chris Peterson in November.
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