Election season starts with a bang
Election season kicked off in Summit County on Friday and the County Council race has already become heated with six residents filing for the three open seats.
As of Tuesday, Basin resident Suzanne Pollard filed to run as a Republican against incumbent Claudia McMullin. Democrats Sean Wharton, from Marion, and Roger Armstrong, from Park City, both filed to run for Sally Elliott’s open seat. Basin resident Kim Carson, a Democrat and Republican Michael Howard from Park City filed to run for John Hanrahan’s open seat
Candidates can file to run for state and county offices until Thursday at 5 p.m.
Pollard told The Park Record that she decided to run for County Council because she was not happy with some of the local decisions that had been made by the current Council members and rather than complain, she wanted to become part of the solution.
"This seems like the best way to make a change and a difference in the community," Pollard said, who has lived in the Park City area for 25 years. "I think our county’s budget should match our revenue and not the other way around. The Council needs to take into consideration how people are doing in this current economy and not be short-sighted."
Armstrong has lived in Park City for seven years and she said this year seemed like a great opportunity to run for County Council since there are three seats open.
"Over the past decade we have seen a lot of growth in Summit County and it is likely to continue," Armstrong said. "There was a blip in progress due to the economic downturn but things are going to turn around and we will continue to grow and I think with my leadership background I can help with the process."
Sean Wharton, a member of the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission told The Park Record in a previous interview that he is running for the second time for County Council so that he can make the final decisions on matters instead of just forwarding a recommendation.
Former Park City School Board Member Kim Carson said she thinks her experience will help her on the Council and she wants make the budget process more clear and facilitate better communication between the Council and their constituents.
Park City resident Michael Howard also filed for County Council Seat C on Monday but could not be reached for comment.
Claudia McMullin, the only Council member running for re-election, said she has projects she would like to see finished and she wants to continue working on the new affordable housing program.
Wanship resident John Zimmerman filed to run for Utah House District 53 against incumbent Mel Brown (R-Coalville) who has held the office for 20 years. As of Tuesday, Zimmerman is the only candidate to file to run against Brown. Both are Republicans.
Zimmerman said he became interested in government when he tried to get a bill passed last year involving anesthesiologist assistant requirements.
"I ran into some underhand tricks the legislature had and it frustrated me so much I decided to run myself," he said. "As I looked closer at some recent legislation, especially involving the GRAMA request changes and illegal immigration debates, I saw a lot of areas that needed attention."
Zimmerman added that the legislature has a lack of physicians, and as an anesthesiologist, he thinks he can help with healthcare legislation and "Obama-care."
"Brown has been in office for too long and I think it is time for career politicians to step down and let the younger, more aggressive people take over from those who are not getting anything done," he said. "I know Brown well, he used to be my high school teacher at Murray High, and I think he has a lot of support and it will be tough race but I think I have a good chance."
Current County Council member Chris Robinson has filed to run for Utah House District 54 against Representative Kraig Powell (R-Heber).
Robinson, a Democrat from the Basin, said what he has learned on the Council will help him on Capitol Hill. Robinson said he hopes to bring reform to the Legislature and use his knowledge of natural resources and agriculture to focus on Utah’s long-term sustainability.
Robinson was born in Salt Lake City and moved to Summit County in 1998. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is currently vice-chair of The Nature Conservancy of Utah.
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A group of women who own small businesses in Park City have begun a campaign called #PCNative to encourage people to shop local.