Republican candidate says money came from Dem Party chair
Summit County Democratic Party chair Rob Weyher has crossed the line party line that is.
He was among the first to contribute money to Woodland Republican Bill Miles’ bid to unseat incumbent Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer, who is a Democrat.
But Weyher claims he gave $250 to Mike Marty, a member of the Summit County Democratic Party Central Committee, to give to any candidate Marty chose.
"Gee, that’s interesting," Weyher said, when told the money went to Miles’ campaign.
When asked if he supports Richer in the race, Weyher said, "as chair of the Democratic Party, I have to support our candidate."
With Weyher’s help Miles said he is confident he will defeat Richer in the general election in November. Miles wouldn’t reveal the size of Weyher’s donation during a telephone interview Friday.
Miles said Marty gave him the cash contribution in an envelope at the end of March.
Marty told him the money was from Weyher, which writing on the envelope also indicated, Miles said.
"With it coming from Mike the way it did I have absolutely no reason to think it was anything but on the up and up," Miles said. "I have absolutely no feeling that there was anything wrong with it."
Miles said he deposited the money in his campaign fund on March 31.
"The first [contribution], and he wanted it known & came from Rob Weyher, the chairman of the Democratic Party," Miles said. "That may be an indication of what’s coming down the road."
News of the contribution came prior to a nominating convention the Summit County Republican Party has slated at Treasure Mountain International School on April 25 at 7 p.m.
"As far as the donation goes, I’m not sure whether it came from Rob personally, or it came from the party," Summit County GOP chair Diane Walker said.
No Republican candidates for county offices face opposition within their party, however, the local GOP intends to conduct a straw poll during Tuesday’s convention to determine where delegates stand on a proposal to change the form of government in Summit County.
"Come on out and enjoy the speeches," said Bruce Hough, vice chair of the Summit County Republican Party. "The straw poll will be fun."
Voters can decide on Election Day whether the current three-member Summit County Commission should be changed to a five-member county council. A committee mandated by voters to study the issue has also recommended the new council hire a manager to function as the government’s executive branch and oversee daily operations in County Courthouse.
An informal, secret ballot during this week’s convention could indicate how Republicans might vote on the proposed change in November, Hough said.
"We may add a couple other questions in there," Walker said about the poll.
Republican elected officials in Summit County who are running unopposed, include, Summit County Attorney David Brickey and County Treasurer Glen Thompson.
Sheriff Dave Edmunds, the only other Republican who holds office in Summit County, faces a challenge from Kamas police officer Scott Mark, who is a Democrat.
"[Edmunds] is a man who has done a very good job for the county and represented the county extremely well and certainly deserves to be re-elected," Hough said. "There is just no real question in my mind about his merit for that and I don’t think the county will think much differently than that."
According to Walker, the Republican Party is "100 percent behind [Edmunds]."
Republican Eugene Lambert, an employee at the Summit County Assessor’s Office, is slated to run against the candidate who emerges from a Democratic assessor primary in June. Democrats Ron Perry and Barbara Kresser, the incumbent in the assessor contest are competing in that primary race.
"We’ll have to see what happens in the assessor’s race on the Democrats’ side first," Hough said.
The race between Richer and Miles for a seat on the County Commission is "a tough one to call," Hough added.
"Sometimes a little balance would be nice and I think that some people might look at that and say, it wouldn’t hurt to have some balance," he said, referring to the three Democrats who currently dominate the commission. "[Miles] comes from the heart of this county and understands its needs, everything from water and land use, planning and the rest of it."
Republican candidates running for state and federal offices in Summit County are also expected to speak at the convention Tuesday in Park City.
"This is the place at the county level where you can meet one on one with candidates running for state and federal offices and have a chance to speak with the candidates," Walker said.
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