Park City-area man starts Congress bid, wanting coronavirus restitution, not a bailout
A Silver Creek man is seeking the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District, calling on the federal government to provide financial assistance to some of those out of work as a result of the business shutdowns out of concern of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Zach Hartman is 42 and works with a Scottsdale, Arizona-based firm called Land Advisors Organization. He has represented the lenders at Victory Ranch outside of Park City. He is campaigning for the GOP nod in a large field of Republicans hoping to succeed the retiring Republican incumbent, Rep. Rob Bishop.
“There has to be restitution if the government tells you, you can’t work,” Hartman said.
He said restitution — essentially payment from the government — should be available to people who can prove employment prior to the spread of the disease and can show they are without employment afterward or suffered a dramatic decline in hours. He said he was not sure what income level should trigger a cutoff but said the restitution should be laddered, meaning those making the most would not be eligible.
“We don’t want this to be a bailout … for people who can afford it, can afford to be able to pay their bills, pay rent,” Hartman said.
He also said he would refuse, based on his income, assistance like what is outlined in the ideas he describes for the country.
“I wouldn’t take it if they gave it to me,” he said.
Hartman described that the country’s “heart is in the right place” as the Trump administration responds to the crisis.
“Democrats, Republicans, whoever. I’m cheering everyone on as an American,” he said.
Hartman describes himself as having libertarian thinking and supporting the rights of individuals. He called himself a deficit hawk and asserted Washington did not curb spending during the years of economic growth.
He said he is “genuinely irritated” with the political divisions in the U.S. As an example, he said, those supporting the preservation of land and hunters each care about the environment yet they are not working together on policies that govern public lands.
Hartman is one of four Republicans from the Park City area who are seeking the nomination in the 1st Congressional District. It is rare for so many people from the Park City area to run for Congress at the same time. The others are Howard Wallack, Chadwick Fairbanks III and JC DeYoung.
They could encounter difficulties as they vie for the Republican nomination with a large field of candidates, many from larger population centers. The 1st Congressional District stretches across a wide swath of northern Utah. Park City and surrounding Summit County represent just a small portion of the overall voting population of the district.
The most recent major-party congressional nominee from the Park City area was Democrat Donna McAleer. She lost in consecutive contests to Bishop, in 2012 and 2014.
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The Park City Police Department last week and early this week received several reports of parties, a common complaint to the agency during busy times of the ski season. The cases did not appear to be serious, but they seem to show an uptick in activity in the community.