Democrats seeking to topple Rob Bishop head to a primary |

Democrats seeking to topple Rob Bishop head to a primary

Democrats in Utah last weekend were unable to select a candidate in the 1st Congressional District, sending the two who are seeking the nomination into a primary election in June to decide who will compete against the incumbent Republican, Rep. Rob Bishop, in November.

Neither Lee Castillo nor Kurt Weiland secured the 60 percent of the delegate vote needed to win the nomination outright. Castillo took 53 percent to Weiland’s 47 percent. The 1st Congressional District includes Park City and surrounding Summit County. Registered Democrats in Summit County will help decide the nominee in the June 26 primary.

Castillo, 40 and a Layton resident, is a clinician at the Utah State Hospital who works with the mentally ill in county jails. He is a first-time candidate and said there needs to be diverse representation in politics. He said he is a “front-line worker.”

“All of those interactions directly drive me to want to run. People’s voices are not being heard,” Castillo said.

Castillo described a platform calling for universal healthcare, which he said would ensure people have equal access to the system. He said the Trump administration’s tax policies, such as tax breaks, need to be rescinded. The funds raised could then be put toward a universal healthcare system, he said.

Castillo described another platform plank centered on what he considers to be common-sense gun control measures. He wants bump stocks, which essentially allow a semiautomatic gun to shoot as a fully automatic one, banned and limits on ammunition magazines. Castillo also wants a federal buyback program and waiting periods on firearm purchases.

He said the incumbent ignores issues important to Park City and Summit County. Castillo said he does not want the landscape changed and desires better air quality.

Weiland during a March appearance in Park City talked about tightening the nation’s gun laws to prohibit bump stocks. He also said during the appearance he wants national monuments like Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante returned to their original boundaries.

The primary will involve mail-in voting. The ballots are scheduled to be sent on June 5, three weeks before the date of the primary. Registered Republicans will receive a GOP ballot while voters registered as Democrats will receive that party’s ballot. Voters who are not affiliated with either of the two parties will not receive a ballot. Unaffiliated voters, though, could request a Democratic ballot if they desire to vote in that primary.

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