Tim Quinn, proud Wasatch County conservative, wins Statehouse seat
November 11, 2016
Tim Quinn, a conservative Republican from Wasatch County, captured the District 54 seat in the Utah House of Representatives, winning the legislative post by a narrower margin than many may have expected in a district that has long been controlled by the GOP.
Quinn topped Rudi Kohler, a Democrat, with 52 percent of the vote, according to preliminary numbers. Quinn and Kohler are both from the Heber City area. District 54 stretches from Wasatch County into Park City. Quinn will succeed Rep. Kraig Powell, a moderate Republican legislator. Powell ended a re-election bid in the spring, indicating he was concerned the tone of the contest for the GOP nomination would become bitter.
Voters in Wasatch County put Quinn into office. He routed Kohler in that part of the district while Kohler won the voting in Summit County. The population of the district is weighted toward Wasatch County. In Summit County, Kohler took 66.7 percent of the vote to Quinn's 33.3 percent. Quinn, though, won 64 percent of the vote in Wasatch County while Kohler grabbed 36 percent. Nearly 11,000 votes were cast in District 54 in Wasatch County compared to the fewer than 7,100 in the district in Summit County.
Quinn campaigned as a proud conservative, offering a platform of bolstering the economy and reducing the role of government in everyday life. Kohler countered the Republican with a campaign that touched on protecting the environment and education funding.
In an interview after Election Day, Quinn said his priorities at the Statehouse will be fiscal responsibility and ensuring "less government intrusion." He said there is a possibility he will introduce few pieces of legislation during the 2017 session, which begins in January, since it will be his first. He said there is a possibility he will introduce a bill regarding the salaries of public officials. Quinn said a bill would delay the effective date of a salary increase until the elected seat of each person on a public body when the increase was approved was on the ballot.
Quinn also said he could be willing to consider changes to air-quality regulations if they arise during the legislative session. He said there is a "possibility we look at some of the rural counties" like Summit County and Wasatch County. He said emissions testing could be considered.
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"Let's not wait until we do have a problem," Quinn said.
The two other state House of Representatives seats that cover parts of Summit County went as expected. In District 53, which encompasses parts of five counties, the Republican, Logan Wilde, won convincingly. His vote total more than doubled that of Democrat Cole Capener. Wilde won the voting in each of the counties. In District 28, stretching from Salt Lake City to the Snyderville Basin, Democrat Brian King was unopposed as he won another term.
In District 19 of the state Senate, which includes parts of the Snyderville Basin and the East Side of Summit County, the incumbent Republican, Allen Christenesen, topped Democrat Deana Froerer. He won 56.4 percent of the district-wide vote. Froerer took the Summit County portion of the district with 53.3 percent.
In the congressional contest involving Summit County – the 1st District of the House of the House of Representatives – Rep. Rob Bishop, the Republican incumbent, defeated Democrat Peter Clemens with 65 percent of the votes in the district. Summit County was the only county Clemens took.
Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican, won another term in the upper chamber of Congress against Democrat Misty K. Snow. He received 68.2 percent of the statewide vote. Snow, though, narrowly won Summit County with 47.6 percent of the vote to Lee's 46.6 percent. It was the only county she carried.
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