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Utah’s most anti-gay legislator, LaVar Christensen, is ousted at GOP convention

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Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, will not be on Utah’s Capitol Hill as an elected official come January.

Rep. Dan McCay

Rep. Dan McCay

According to a Facebook post by Rep. Ken Ivory, Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, received 63 percent of the votes in his bid for the Utah Senate District 11 seat on the first ballot at the 2018 Utah Republican Party State Nominating Convention at the Maverik Center Saturday. The threshold needed to avoid an in-party primary is 60 percent.

Christiensen, McCay, and educator Delania Tonks ran for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Sen. Howard Stephenson in Senate District 11.

McCay will now face Democrat Christian Burridge in the general election in November. Christensen gave up his House seat to run for the Senate, is finished in the Legislature for now.

Utah Policy’s Bryan Schott reports that McCay seemed shocked he was able to win the nomination so quickly.

“You never know how hard work is going to be reflected in the vote,” McCay told Schott.

McCay also told Schott that the dual-path method of choosing party candidates for races is working.

“Despite criticism of the caucus and convention system, this is reflective of the process working,” McCay said. “I spent hundreds of hours at town halls. I had people come to every town hall meeting I was at.”

Christensen won his House seat two years ago by only five votes.

He was the author of Utah’s Amendment 3, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, as well as several other anti-LGBT measures over the years.

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