Two years after leaving the Utah legislature to mount an unsuccessful congressional campaign against Democratic congressman Jim Matheson, former Representative LaVar Christensen has unseated incumbent Rep. Sylvia Andersen and received his party’s nomination to run again in November.
Christensen, who represented District 48 (Sandy and some parts of Draper) from 2002 until his departure in 2006, received around 70 percent of delegates’ votes in the Salt Lake County Republican Convention on May 3. During his time in office he supported several pieces of anti-gay legislation, including Amendment 3, the constitutional ban on gay marriage Utah voters overwhelmingly approved in 2004.
In 2005 Christensen also opposed former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson’s move to grant health care benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of city employees.
In the week before the convention, Andersen had told the Deseret News that thought she would enough support to get the 60 percent of delegates’ votes necessary for her to advance without going through a primary. She also had the support of several Republican leaders including Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Provo (married to Utah Republican Party chairman Stan Lockhart), Lorie Fowlke, R-Orem and Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble, R-Provo.
Christensen will square off against former Rep. Trish Beck, the Democrat who lost her seat in the House to him in 2002.