Summit County is buzzing with political talk and the Farm Bureau has planned two opportunities for voters to mingle with candidates.
With the Nov. 7 ballot marked by a plethora of local, state and federal races, political forums slated in Coalville and the Snyderville Basin will allow citizens to grill politicos aspiring to spend their money.
High-profile bouts that include challengers hoping to dethrone Summit County’s sheriff and a sitting county commissioner, along with a controversial proposition to change the county’s form of government, could help fuel the highest voter turnout in western Summit County in years.
Voters can question the candidates during debates slated at 7 p.m. at North Summit High School in Coalville Oct. 18 and at the fire station on Canyons Resort Drive Oct. 25.
Clerk candidate backs controversial new machines
A former Republican Summit County clerk, who filed this year as a Democrat to win back his job as the county’s chief elections official, is confident the county’s new touch-screen voting machines won’t lead to corruption.
"We’ve got to prove it right, and time will do that," the candidate, Kent Jones, told a group of roughly 40 people who gathered for a political debate Oct. 11 in Kamas. "I believe they will work as people said they would."
Jones, who is a Henefer resident, is vying against Parkite Kathy Dopp, a member of the Desert Green Party, to replace outgoing County Clerk Sue Follett, who was ousted by delegates at a Democratic nominating convention last spring.
Because Dopp distrusts the controversial, electronic voting machines manufactured by Diebold Election Systems and purchased this year by the county, the debate could become the defining issue in the race to replace Follett.
Candidate: East/west issue is ‘absurd’
Woodland resident Bill Miles, a Republican running to replace Democratic Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer, claims most distinctions made between eastern and western Summit County are ‘absurd.’
"We shouldn’t be basing it on where we live," Miles told voters who gathered for a political debate last week in Kamas.
However, over the years, geography apparently has defined voters’ decisions more than partisan politics in Summit County.
"The reality is, east/west divisions exist LDS/non-LDS divisions exist within our county," said Richer. "Balance is a very important thing in our representative government."
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Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt died Friday from injuries sustained in an off-duty accident earlier in the week, the agency announced.