Candidates’ choices are greater than Republican or Democrat | ParkRecord.com

Candidates’ choices are greater than Republican or Democrat

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

Want to run for office but sick and tired of party politics? Turns out there are alternatives to running as a Republican or Democrat and candidates can even choose to run for office without aligning with any political party.

According to Summit County Deputy Clerk Ryan Cowley, there are seven different parties certified in the State of Utah, including the new Justice Party that was approved this year by Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell. Other parties approved by Bell include: the Libertarian Party, the Americans Elect Party, the Green Party and the Constitutional Party, in addition to the Republican or Democratic parties.

If a candidate does not want to affiliate with any party, they can file as "unaffiliated" but must fill out a petition first.

"Before a candidate who is running as unaffiliated can be placed on the ballot, they must have 300 registered voters in their district sign a petition. This acts as a vetting process to show that they are a serious candidate since someone who is running unaffiliated does not need to go to any party caucuses or take part in the primaries," Cowley said.

Cowley added that he has seen some Libertarians and Green Party Candidates on the General Election ballot but has yet to see an unaffiliated candidate.

The filing window for the 2012 General Election closes on Thursday, March 15, at 5 p.m. Open positions that will appear on the ballot in Summit County include: three Summit County Council seats, three School Board seats in each district, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Senate Seat 19, House Seat 53, House Seat 54, House Seat 28, State Treasurer, Auditor and Attorney General.

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A resident can also file as a write-in candidate as late as Friday, Sept. 7 or up to 60 days prior to the election. Write-in candidates’ names will not appear on the ballot.

The Republican Summit County neighborhood caucuses will take place on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. Residents are recommended to show up at least half an hour early. Residents living in the Park City School District will meet at Park City High School. Residents living in the South Summit School District will meet at the South Summit Middle School and residents living in the North Summit School District will meet at the North Summit High School.

The Democrats were scheduled to hold their caucuses Tuesday night after press time.

Candidates, including write-ins, must pay a filing fee. The fee for County Council candidates is $148.50 and the fee for school board candidates is $25.