News (USA)

Utah same-sex marriage ban author Christensen wins re-election by three votes

LaVar Christensen
LaVar ChristensenPhoto: YouTube Screenshot

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Republican lawmaker who authored Utah’s now-overturned same-sex marriage ban has won re-election by three votes.

Salt Lake County’s election canvass on Tuesday showed the razor-thin win by Rep. LaVar Christensen of Draper over Democratic challenger Suzanne Harrison.

Harrison says she’s going to ask for a recount.

Christensen was trailing on election night by almost 200 votes, but the race flipped over the past two weeks as election officials finished counting the 17,071 ballots cast.

Christensen says in a statement that it’s a privilege to serve in the district and looks forward to serving again.

Tuesday’s results in Salt Lake County also showed Democrats picked up two seats from West Valley City and Taylorsville in the Legislature, which is dominated by Republicans.

Elizabeth Weight defeated incumbent Sophia DiCaro and Karen Kwan won an open seat over Republican Macade Jensen.

Christensen also brought forward a bill that would allow for LGBTQ discrimination if done so on the basis of a strongly held religious belief, as well as another that prohibited same-sex couples from making contractual agreements, such as wills and financial arrangements.

Jeff Taylor contributed to this report.

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