Hilder plans holistic approach to new position
November 7, 2014
As the election results trickled in on Tuesday night, the Summit County attorney’s campaign remained close.
Democratic challenger Robert Hilder took the lead against incumbent Republican County Attorney David Brickey and never lost the advantage. Hilder beat Brickey by a margin of less than 400 votes.
Hilder defeated Brickey, who has ran unopposed as the county attorney for the last 10 years, 5,323 to 4,947. Hilder appeared to garner the majority of his votes in Park City and the Snyderville Basin. Brickey won Kamas, and a majority of the votes elsewhere on the East Side of Summit County.
In a campaign that focused on criminal cases versus civil cases, Hilder promoted civilized law, along with his mediation and negotiation skills.
"We just hadn’t had change," Hilder said. "And whether they were thrilled with the status quo or not, the people were open to a choice."
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Hilder said he will bring a holistic approach to the county attorney’s office, so it’s "not just one attorney working alone."
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"I really do plan to sit down and get to know every member of that office," he said. "I need to understand how we can better serve not just the community, but everyone has a responsibility with the council, commissions, and boards."
He expressed no desire to make changes to the staff, although he acknowledged he had clashed with Chief Deputy Attorney Dave Thomas in the past.
"I’m absolutely not making any changes in the near future," Hilder said. "David and I have talked more than once, and I respect his intelligence and his experience.
"I think we have an experienced and able chief deputy and a fine chief prosecutor," Hilder said. "We have the people who can lead and we need to get in there with the nitty gritty."
The county attorney candidates were the second highest campaign spenders, according to preliminary numbers The Park Record recently reported. Brickey spent $15,600 he received from donors on his bid for re-election, while Hilder spent $9,425.
On Jan. 1, Hilder will succeed Brickey, who came to Summit County from Salt Lake City 15 years ago and has worked in the county attorney’s office since.
"I want to thank everyone that has helped me and my family," Brickey said in an email to The Park Record. "We appreciate all of your kind support during this hard fought campaign. It’s been a wonderful ten years at the county attorney. I now look forward to a new and different adventure."
Brickey received endorsements from three County Council members, including Claudia McMullin.
McMullin said she endorsed Brickey because she "likes him, trusts him" and doesn’t want a new attorney.
"He’s been our attorney for six years," McMullin said. "And we think he’s done a fine job."
Council member Kim Carson didn’t use the term ‘endorse’ when talking about her editorial about Brickey that appeared in The Park Record Oct. 28, but she said she felt the need to talk about the things he’s done as counsel to the County Council.
In anticipation of working alongside Hilder instead of Brickey, both McMullin and Carson said they have confidence in the County Council’s ability to move forward.
"Hilder is a very accomplished judge and I look forward to having the opportunity to work with him," Carson said.
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