1st Utah Senate District

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The 1st Utah Senate District is located in Salt Lake County and includes Utah House Districts 20, 22, 23, 26, 29, 31 and 33.

The current State Senator representing the 1st district is Luz Robles Escamilla. Former Senator Fred Fife was elected to the Utah Senate in 2004. Fife was defeated by Robles at the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention on April 26, 2008. Robles won against Salt Lake City Councilman Carlton Christensen, the Republican nominee, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.


Senate district one was created in 1896 when Utah was admitted as a state. Abraham Zundel of Willard was elected to serve as the first Senator for District 1 in a special election held on November 5, 1895, but wasn't subsequently re-elected in the 1896 election. The district has undergone several major changes as a result of re-districting, originally representing Box Elder and Tooele counties instead of present-day Salt Lake County. Because of this the second Senator to represent the 1st District was William G. Nebeker of Ophir in Tooele County while the first was from Willard in Box Elder County.

W. Hughes Brockbank, a Republican, was elected president of the National Legislative Conference in 1969 becoming the first Utahn to hold this office.[1]

Terry Williams, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, served in the Utah State Senate from 1983 to 1986 thus becoming the first African American to serve in the State Senate. Williams was originally elected to the Utah State House of Representatives and served from 1981 to 1982 but was preceded by Reverend Robert Harris of Ogden in 1976 as the first African American to serve in the State Legislature.

Williams unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1986. Craig Oliver, a real estate salesman, defeated Terry Williams in a tight primary election.[2] Williams garnered 14,385 votes, or 49.55% to Oliver's 14,646 votes, or 50.45% for a vote difference of 261.[3] Oliver faced off against Republican incumbent Jake Garn.

Frances Farley, a Democrat, served as Senator for District 1 from 1976 to 1982 being the first woman to be elected to the Utah Senate in 20 years. Farley unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1982 and 1984 before again mounting a successful run for State Senate in District 1 in 1986. Farley was an advocate for women's rights and according to the Deseret News,

"[Farley] staged a news conference blasting the University Club for not allowing her into its sports grill. The protest launched a movement that eventually led decades-old male-only private clubs to open memberships to women."[4]

Farley retired from the Utah Senate in 1990.

Karen Shepherd, a Democrat, served as state senator for District 1 from 1991 to 1992. She was subsequently elected to represent Utah's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House when Wayne Owens chose to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. Robert Steiner, a Democrat, replaced her as state senator. Steiner, the great grandson of Utah's U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns was a former part owner of the Salt Lake Tribune and heir of the Steiner American Linen Corporation. Steiner retired from the Senate in 1999.[5]

Steiner purchased Jon Huntsman, Jr's. home when he became Governor of Utah.[5]

Shepherd represented the 2nd congressional district from 1993 to 1995. Shepherd was the first female Senator to represent Utah in Congress since Reva Beck Bosone (1949–1953) who was the first female Congresswomen to represent Utah in the U.S. House. There has been no female U.S. Senator from Utah.

Fred J. Fife of Salt Lake City was elected to represent District 1 in 2004. Fife was defeated at the state Democratic Convention by Luz Robles. Robles went on to win the general election, defeating Salt Lake City Councilman Carlton Christensen, winning 56% of the vote.

Historical Representation[edit]

Note: This information may not be complete. Please add additional information and sources.

Counties Dates Explanation
Box Elder, Tooele 1896–1967 The 1st District represented Box Elder and Tooele counties from Utah statehood in 1896 to 1967.
Salt Lake 1967 – present The 1st District has represented parts of Salt Lake County since 1967.

Previous State Senators (District 1)[edit]

Further information: List of Utah State Legislatures

Note: Information about legislators obtained from Utah State Legislature website.

Name Party Term
Fred J. Fife Democrat 2004–2008
James M. Evans Republican 2003–2004
Paula F. Julander Democrat 1999–2002
Robert C. Steiner Democrat 1993–1999
Karen Shepherd Democrat 1991–1992
Frances Farley Democrat 1987–1990
Terry Lee Williams Democrat 1983–1986
Frances Farley Democrat 1977–1982
W. Hughes Brockbank Republican 1967–1976
David R. Waldron Democrat 1965
Kleon Kerr Republican 1957–1963
Clifton G.M. Kerr Republican 1953–1955
J. Harold Reese Democrat 1949–1951
J. Welton Ward Democrat 1945–1947
Abel S. Rich Democrat 1941–1943
Will R. Holmes Democrat 1937–1939
Albert E. Holmgren Republican 1933–1935
Tracy R. Welling 1929–1931
John W. Peters 1921–1927
Archibald Bevan 1917–1919
Willard Snow Hansen[6] 1913–1915
William C. Horsley 1909–1911
Peter Clegg 1905–1907
H.S. Larsen 1901–1903
William G. Nebeker 1897–1899
Abraham Zundel[7] 1896

Election results[edit]

2004 general election[edit]

Utah State Senate election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Fred J. Fife 7,981 48.9
Republican James Evans 7,553 46.2
Constitution Elaine Jenkins 463 2.8
Personal Choice Daniel D. McGuire 338 2.1

2008 Election[edit]

Utah State Senate election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Luz Robles 8,004 56.47% +7.57%
Republican Carlton Christensen 6,170 43.53% -2.67%

2012 Election[edit]


Utah State Senate election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Luz Robles 10,490 55.3%
Republican Chelsea Woodruff 8,479 44.7%

Current candidates[edit]

This seat is not currently up for election in the 2010 election but will be up for election in the 2012 election.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Obituary: W. Hughes Brockbank". Deseret News. August 31, 2003. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Black Legislator Loses Tight Utah Primary". The New York Times. August 21, 1986. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Elections Results Primary 1986" (PDF). Utah Elections Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 August 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Sen. Frances Farley". Deseret News. January 21, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Huntsman sells private home in Federal Heights". Deseret News. October 27, 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Willard Snow Hansen 1856–1927". Retrieved August 7, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Abraham Zundel 1836–1917". Orson Pratt Brown Family Website. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
James M. Evans
Fred J. Fife
2005 – present
Succeeded by