Park City man starts Congress bid, vowing to ‘stand up, name names and kick butt’ |

Park City man starts Congress bid, vowing to ‘stand up, name names and kick butt’

Howard Wallack, a retired businessman who lives in the Aerie, is seeking the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District. Wallack says he would be willing to confront other members of Congress who block bills he sees as good legislation.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

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A retired Park City businessman has launched a campaign for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District, saying Washington is too partisan and desiring to reduce regulations.

Howard Wallack lives in the Aerie and has been a full-time Park City resident since 1998 after having owned a residence in the community since 1985. He has never served in elected office. Wallack narrowly missed winning a Park City Council seat in 1999 and unsuccessfully competed for the GOP nomination in the 2nd Congressional District in 2012. Wallack, 72, once owned a trucking company in the Northeast and was a schoolteacher early in his career.

“What’s happening in Washington is broken. The discourse is terrible,” Wallack said in an interview, describing members of Congress as being more worried about their reelection bids than the issues.

He supports term limits as a means to reduce the partisanship. Wallack said members of the House of Representatives should be limited to three or four terms — six or eight years — while senators should be limited to 12 years, or two terms.

Wallack pledged he would work with Democrats if he is elected to Congress. He would confront other members of Congress who block what he sees as good legislation. He is willing to “stand up, name names and kick butt.”

The Wallack campaign will stress issues like the economy. He said he wants to reduce “ridiculous rules and regulations” that he sees as hurting business. As an example, he said, he supports the creation of a compact between states addressing certain professional licenses that would allow people in industries like real estate and massage therapy to work across state lines.

He also supports a so-called flat income tax with no allowances for reductions. Wallack said he has not yet crafted a percentage for a flat-tax proposal, indicating the number would depend on government spending levels.

Wallack, meanwhile, described himself as a unique candidate in the 1st Congressional District. He said there has not been a member of the House of Representatives from Park City or surrounding Summit County and mentioned his Jewish religion as something that sets him apart from the representatives who have served in the district.

There is expected to be a number of top-tier GOP candidates seeking the nomination as they vie to succeed the longtime incumbent, Republican Rep. Rob Bishop. Wallack will likely lack the name recognition of some of the others. It is also likely that some of the others will hail from more populous parts of the expansive district, which covers a wide swath of northern Utah.

Wallack mounted an outsider campaign for the City Council in 1999, attracting attention in the early days of the contest as a fiscal conservative. He notably questioned the municipal budget, calling it one of the largest in the country for a community the size of Park City and claiming there were “some $500 hammers in there.” Wallack more recently publicly opposed Park City’s 2018 ballot measure to raise the funds needed for City Hall’s acquisition of Treasure in a conservation deal. Voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot measure.

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