Congressional contests: Republican and Democrats must choose one
June 22, 2012
Voters in Tuesday’s primary election will select the Democrat who will be on the ballot in the state’s 1st Congressional District and will choose the Republican who will represent the party in the Senate contest.
The Democratic campaign in the 1st Congressional District pits Donna McAleer, who is from Pinebrook, against South Ogden resident Ryan Combe. The winner will face the Republican incumbent, Rep. Rob Bishop, in what is expected to be a difficult election for either McAleer or Combe in a heavily Republican district.
McAleer and Combe have stressed their backgrounds and economic issues during the primary season. McAleer’s career has been in management consulting and the nonprofit sector. She was an Army officer who graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Combe is an entrepreneur and a business consultant.
"I think that is a very powerful endorsement," Combe said. "They feel I can move us forward."
He said he was born and raised in the 1st Congressional District and better relates to voters who reside within its borders. The district encompasses a wide swath of the northern portion of the state.
McAleer said in an e-mail statement to The Park Record she is the "only candidate in this race with a proven record of results."
"I haven’t just talked about the issues, I have actually served my country, created high wage jobs, and fought for access to healthcare," she said in the statement.
Combe has said he wants Washington to better manage its budget but he has said drastic steps do not need to be taken to handle the national debt. He wants corporate tax loopholes closed as a way to increase the amount of money the federal government brings in.
He has said he does not support SkiLink, an idea to connect Canyons and Solitude Mountain Resort with a gondola. The connection is dependent on federal land being sold to Canyons.
McAleer, meanwhile, has said issues like the economy, education and the environment are related to each other. She has said the national debt must be addressed, saying that the level is "unsustainable" and arguing both revenues and expenses need to be reviewed.
She has said she does not support SkiLink.
The Republican Senate primary is a contest between the six-term incumbent, Orrin Hatch, and Dan Liljenquist, a former state senator. The Hatch-Liljenquist winner will compete against Democrat Scott Howell in November. The Republican who emerges from the primary will be the favorite in November given the political makeup of the state.
Hatch said in an e-mail statement to The Park Record the nation "is at a crossroads" and his position on the Senate Finance Committee is critical as the federal budget and tax policies are crafted.
"Will we right our fiscal ship and restore this country to the land of prosperity or will we stumble down the road to European socialism," he said in the statement.
He said he will "continue to block the overreach of the federal government intent on infringing on individual rights."
Hatch is one of the sponsors of the SkiLink legislation, arguing that a Canyons Solitude Mountain Resort gondola would boost the state’s economy.
Liljenquist said in an recent interview he wants to bring his experience as a turnaround artist in the private sector to Washington, D.C. He wants to cut federal income taxes on individuals and corporations but has said everyone, both individuals and corporations, should pay some taxes to the federal government.
He recently said he had not formed an opinion of SkiLink.
Ryan Combe has been endorsed by nearly all of the Democratic candidates in the state House of Representatives and state Senate districts within the 1st Congressional District. An article in the June 23-26 edition of The Park Record incorrectly stated that the endorsements came from sitting legislators.