CEDAR CITY — With Iron County Commissioner Marilyn Wood opting not to run for re-election this year, five candidates have filed seeking election for the position.

“I Voted” stickers in the Iron County Clerk’s office, Parowan, Utah, Nov. 4, 2022 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Iron County Clerk’s official list of qualified candidates for the 2024 election cycle has been finalized now that the filing period is over (the deadline was Monday). 

According to the online listing, the five candidates vying for the County Commission’s “C” seat are Kenneth Robinson, Dallas Guymon, Patrick Larson, Steven Dodds and former Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson Edwards. All are Republicans except for Guymon, who is listed as unaffiliated.

That means that the field of candidates may need to be narrowed down via a primary election in June, depending on the outcome of the GOP caucuses and convention in April. Dodds, Robinson and Wilson Edwards have all indicated that they plan to also pursue the signature-gathering route to earn a spot on the primary ballot, should they fail to secure their party’s nomination. Meanwhile, Larson indicated he plans to seek nomination via convention only and not gather signatures.

Wood told Cedar City News a few of her reasons for not running for a second term on the Iron County Commission, a primary one being her family.

“I lost my mother and father during my term in office, and it made me realize how important family is,” Wood said. “I have missed out on many family events because of my dedication to my commissioner job.”

Wood, who still has almost one year remaining before her term as commissioner officially expires next January, also cited the various difficulties associated with the position.

File photo of Iron County Commissioner Marilyn Wood, Iron County, Utah, Sept. 25, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Many parts of being a commissioner are very enjoyable and fun, but dealing with difficult issues is hard,” she said, citing as examples the issues surrounding the proposed new jail and having to deal with disrespectful individuals.

“As I get older, I realize it gets harder to do everything that is required of a commissioner.”

Wood, a longtime rancher, also said she hopes her successor will be someone with an agricultural focus.

“My biggest worry in not running is that there won’t be someone to stand up and fight for the ranchers and farmers in Iron County, which we all know are under attack from many sides,” she said. “Public land and water issues are a huge part of a commissioner’s job. I sincerely hope that whoever fills my position will understand the importance of fighting for the rights of the agricultural community.”

Meanwhile, on the nonpartisan Iron County School District Board of Education, which has three of its seven seats open for election this year, only one incumbent is running for re-election.

Ben Johnson, who represents school board District 2 and is the current president of the board, has filed for re-election unopposed.

However, fellow incumbents Dave Staheli and Jeff Corry have each decided not to seek a second four-year term on the school board.

John R. Taylor was the only candidate who filed for the District 1 seat currently occupied by Staheli, meaning that Taylor’s name will appear unopposed on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

File photo of Iron County School Board members Jeff Corry and Dave Staheli being sworn into office, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 5, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

And in the school board’s District 3, two candidates have filed to take the outgoing Corry’s spot: James S. Johnson and Tyrel W. Eddy will face each other in November.

Also of note, four people who currently hold elected county-level positions have all filed to keep their jobs and will appear unopposed on the November ballot. They are Iron County Auditor Lucas Little, Assessor Karsten Reed, Treasurer Nicole Rosenberg and Recorder/Surveyor Carri Jeffries.

As for the Utah Legislature, Iron County residents are either in Utah House District 70 or District 71 (see official interactive district map on the Legislature’s website here). 

In District 70, incumbent Rep. Carl Albrecht (R-Richfield) is being challenged by Iron County resident Zeno Parry, a member of the United Utah Party. And in District 71, incumbent Rep. Rex Shipp (R-Cedar City) is being challenged by fellow Cedar City resident Steve Merrill, a Democrat.

For information about the various statewide races that are at stake in 2024, along with the numerous U.S. Presidential and U.S. Congressional hopefuls seeking office, see the state’s official elections website. To see a list of all of the candidates who’ve filed to be on Utah’s ballots for state and federal offices, click here

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.