Overstock executive, a gubernatorial hopeful, plans Park City stop | ParkRecord.com

Overstock executive, a gubernatorial hopeful, plans Park City stop

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

A businessman campaigning for the Utah governor’s office plans to stump in Park City this week, adding a touch of state politics to what is otherwise the City Hall election season.

Jonathan Johnson is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Gov. Gary Herbert, the incumbent Republican, is running for re-election. The election is in November of 2016, but the Republicans will select their candidate by the middle of the year.

The Park City event is scheduled on Wednesday from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Park City Library and Education Center. It is planned as a town hall-style campaign stop. The event will be Johnson’s first in Park City.

Johnson is the chairman of the board of directors of Overstock.com, a Salt Lake City-based online shopping site. He lives in Holladay.

Sasha Clark, the communications director for the Johnson campaign, said the event in Park City is part of a listening tour. She touted Johnson’s background as a fit for Utah.

"One thing he offers is a business perspective," she said, adding, "He truly understands what the businesses in Utah need."

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She outlined a platform that involves fiscal responsibility, less reliance on the federal government and transformational improvements in education in the state.

The chairman of the Summit County Republican Party, Tal Adair, plans to attend the Johnson event to learn about the candidate’s platform. Adair said he has not decided which Republican he will support in the gubernatorial nominating contest.

Adair said the appearance on Wednesday offers people in Park City an opportunity to hear from the candidate in person. It is a "really good chance to see what’s out there," Adair said. He acknowledged that he is not familiar with the details of Johnson’s platform.

"He speaks well . . . He talks about Utahns. He discusses their needs and what have you, Adair said.

Herbert has easily won the statewide gubernatorial elections. In the most recent contest, Herbert won Summit County by a narrow margin against Democrat Peter Cooke. Herbert won convincingly elsewhere in the state, though.

Johnson’s campaign website provides details about his platform. Some of the highlights include:

  • a desire that federal lands in the West be transferred to states. Doing so, the Johnson campaign says, would "provide a higher economic return" as well as provide more access.
  • support for gun rights
  • a desire to "drastically" cut emissions. Air quality, the Johnson campaign says, "is a top issue for retaining and attracting business in Utah."
  • a statement that marriage issues should be decided by states. The website says Johnson believes "marriage is between a man and a woman, and the legal definition of marriage should be decided by Utahns and not by federal government mandate."
  • a statement that Utah must assist as careers are built. The state should "focus on providing the training needed to fill these high paying careers."

    The Johnson campaign website is http://HireJJ.com.