Natalie Cline loses reelection bid

Ultraconservative Utah School Board of Education Natalie Cline lost her nomination for re-election at the Salt Lake County Republican Convention Saturday. Since she did not receive 40 percent of the votes, she will not appear on the ballot as the GOP candidate.

Delegates gave Cline 123 votes, which is 36.83 percent. The remaining 211 votes, or 65.54 percent, went to Amanda Bollinger.

Unlike her opponent, Cline opted not to pursue voter signatures, a strategy that could have granted her access to Utah’s primary ballot in June despite lacking her party’s nomination. With the signature collection deadline elapsed, Cline’s hopes for political redemption were dashed.

Cline has been embroiled in controversy since she was elected, including being censured and disallowed from attending Board meetings.

The latest controversy surrounding Cline erupted when she came under scrutiny for a social media post where she questioned the gender of a high school basketball player, inciting threats against the student. Criticism poured in from both Republican and Democratic circles, with Utah Governor Spencer Cox publicly expressing embarrassment over Cline’s actions. Despite formal censure by the Legislature, Cline retained her position on the board, albeit with diminished authority.

Undeterred by the mounting opposition, Cline announced her intention to seek reelection in late February. In a pre-vote Facebook post, she defended her record, asserting that she had been tirelessly responsive to the concerns of parents and educators over the past three years. She emphasized her commitment to addressing the pressing issues within Utah’s schools, rallying support from a “growing army” of concerned citizens who shared her conviction that change was overdue.

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