Park City voters can meet Statehouse candidates during town hall
September 30, 2018
Parkites have a chance to meet all five candidates seeking to represent Park City in the Statehouse at a candidate town hall in Hideout on Thursday.
Hideout resident George Garvin coordinated the event on behalf of an informal organization representing the Wasatch County town's residents. The event is scheduled at 7 p.m. at Hideout's town hall building, 10860 N Hideout Trail.
The candidates set to participate are running for the state Senate District 26 and House District 54 seats. Democrat Eileen Gallagher, Republican Ron Winterton and Cathy Callow-Heusser of the United Utah Party are competing for the Senate opening, while incumbent Republican Rep. Tim Quinn and Democrat Meaghan Miller are vying for the House seat.
Garvin said the town hall's format will include 10 minutes for each candidate to speak, with the opportunity to engage with one another and provide rebuttals to their opponents' points. All five Capitol Hill hopefuls will occupy the same stage during the event.
The candidates' speaking time will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session with constituents, after which a meet and greet with the candidates will run until 9 p.m.
The meeting stands to be especially important for Park City voters choosing among the three Senate candidates. While Gallagher and Callow-Heusser are both Parkites, Winterton, the favorite to win the race in the historically conservative district, is from Roosevelt. The district includes not only parts of Summit and Wasatch counties but Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties as well.
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The 26th District's massive size has posed a challenge for all three candidates, as traveling between population centers like Park City and Vernal is both fuel- and time-consuming.
The trio of candidates are seeking to fill the seat vacated by retiring three-term Republican Kevin VanTassell. Winterton, a Duchesne County commissioner, has cast himself as a staunch conservative, while Gallagher, a physician, is relying on a message of bipartisanship and common ground among the district's diverse constituents. Callow-Heusser, a former Republican, has not campaigned widely but bills herself as a moderate choice.
As for the House District 54, Quinn (R-Heber City) and Miller present differing viewpoints. The district includes all of Wasatch County, as well as Park City. Quinn, a business owner, points to a legislative record of advocating for Park City and a conservative stance on fiscal matters as reasons for voters to send him back to Salt Lake City. Miller, a staffer at the People's Health Clinic, has taken a contrasting approach, including goals like expanding Medicaid.
Voters who can't make it to the Oct. 4 event will have another chance to meet candidates at an Oct. 11 town hall in Heber. The same five candidates have been invited to that event.
The 2018 midterm elections are set to take place on Nov. 6. Register to vote at voters.utah.gov.