Blimp marks candidate’s final push for votes |

Blimp marks candidate’s final push for votes

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

People at Kimball Junction might have noticed a blimp gliding near businesses at Redstone last Friday. The remote-controlled airship carried a message encouraging residents to vote for Dax Shane.

In their last push for votes each candidate campaigning to be the sheriff of Summit County took to the streets Tuesday to convince voters that he was the right choice for the top law enforcement post.

Shane, a Francis Democrat, challenged incumbent Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds, a Republican who was seeking his third term in office.

In the Park City area, the campaign was one of the most closely watched of this year’s election season.

When reached Monday, Shane said he planned to have the blimp in the air again on Election Day.

He said nobody has complained to him about the blimp.

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But several people who said the blimp was distracting drivers called 911 last Friday to complain, said Detective Ron Bridge, a spokesman for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

"It was causing distress to motorists as they were traveling on the roads," Bridge said. "Some of them were in fear that the blimp could possibly cause an accident."

But no complaints were made to the Federal Aviation Administration.

With early balloting underway last Friday at the Sheldon Richins Building, Summit County Republican Party Chairman Henry Glasheen said the blimp might have been gliding too close to the poll.

"It’s not supposed to be in the line of sight within 150 feet of the polling location. I think he was too close," Glasheen said.

Glasheen said several people complained to him on Friday.

"The phone just started ringing off the hook," Glasheen said. "People were driving down the road looking at it and not paying attention. That is a real potential hazard."

But Glenn Wright, chairman of the Summit County Democratic Party, said nobody has voiced concerns to him about the blimp.

"I haven’t heard a thing," Wright said.

He said he expected Shane to fly the blimp on Tuesday.

"[Shane] said it is going to be cruising up and down western Summit County," Wright said. "Anything you do to get people’s attention today is good."

Nobody complained to election officials either, Summit County Clerk Kent Jones said.

"I haven’t heard anything about a blimp," Jones said.

Shane said the blimp is owned by a friend who let him use it for the campaign.

He said he planned to keep the blimp at Redstone on Tuesday so the object would not distract motorists on the highway.