Republican Gov. Gary Herbert became Governor in 2009 when then-Gov. Jon Huntsman resigned to become the U.S. Ambassador to China. In 2010, he won a special election to finish Huntsman’s term with 64 percent of the vote, and he won a full four-year term in 2012 with 68 percent of the vote. Herbert (or just about any other credible Republican candidate) has little to fear from Democrats in the state given the party’s weak bench and Utah’s overwhelming Republican tilt. Instead he is getting a challenge for the nomination to his right from Jonathan Johnson, the former chairman of Overstock.com. Herbert suffered a major setback at the GOP state convention April 23 when he failed to win the nomination outright. Not only didn’t he get the 60 percent needed to avoid a primary, but Johnson finished with 55 percent to the incumbent’s 45 percent on the second ballot. Herbert knew the convention might be a problem and collected petitions for the primary; Johnson did not file primary petitions. The primary electorate is much less conservative than the convention’s delegates, so

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