Accusations fly in sheriff’s race
Unless Coalville resident Alf Blonquist apologizes in writing to Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds for allegedly excluding the Republican incumbent from a debate Oct. 11 in Kamas, Woodland Democrat Mike Marty insists he’ll expose political bias within the ranks of Summit County’s Farm Bureau.
Marty began pointing fingers Wednesday during a testy exchange with Blonquist, a Farm Bureau officer who organized candidate debates in North and South Summit.
"It’s almost a hatred thing," Marty said in a telephone interview Thursday about Blonquist’s alleged refusal to invite Edmunds to participate. "It’s just weird."
Blonquist refused to comment following the forum held at North Summit High School when asked whether Edmunds was purposely not invited to attend the previous debate.
"Did I say no comment, that’s what I meant," Blonquist told The Park Record.
Marty, who works for Edmunds’ campaign, told Blonquist, "Let me tell you why you should comment."
"If there is not an apology written to Sheriff Edmunds by next week, I will call you out," Marty demanded as he and Blonquist faced off in the school’s auditorium.
Blonquist’s failure to notify Edmunds of the Kamas debate irked Farm Bureau brass like Snyderville Basin resident Steve Osguthorpe, complained Marty, who is also a member of the organization.
"Why was Brody Taylor invited?" Marty asked Blonquist, about the independent write-in candidate who recently challenged Edmunds on Election Day.
Taylor attended the forum in Kamas and fielded questions from several audience members.
But when the Farm Bureau organized forums in Kamas, Coalville and the Snyderville Basin, Edmunds was running unopposed, Blonquist said, when reached Monday.
He insisted Taylor was told about the first debate through the "grapevine."
Marty, however, contends members of the Blonquist family and families in Kamas have conspired with Taylor to oust Edmunds from the Sheriff’s Office.
"I think there is empirical evidence of that," Edmunds said Thursday.
In a message left on Edmunds’ voice mail, Blonquist admitted Taylor received an invitation to the Kamas forum and the sheriff did not, Edmunds said.
"Why in the world would you not invite the seated sheriff?" said Edmunds in a telephone interview. "It shows no class and, frankly, I’m just mystified by the entire thing."
When reached Friday Taylor said he didn’t have enough information about Marty’s allegations to comment.
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Vail Resorts and Deer Valley Resort, two of Summit County’s largest employers, have announced they will pay non-tipped employees at least $15 an hour this winter. The moves come amid a nationwide and local workforce shortage that is challenging businesses in search of employees.