Filing window to declare as candidate for public office opens on Friday
When Summit County Clerk Kent Jones took the oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony in 2015, he told county staff and family members it would be his final term as an elected official.
Jones served as county clerk from 1993 to 2003 and was re-elected again in 2007. He has held the position ever since. However, as the filing window to register as a candidate for the 2018 election is set to open on Friday, Jones said he’s not ready to step away from his role.
“I’ve gotten up and gone to work nearly all my life, and I’m not sure I’m there yet to say I’m done doing that,” he said.
The race for Jones’ position, as well as three other department head roles, two seats on the Summit County Council, four seats in the Utah State Legislature and seven school board positions throughout the county kicks off on Friday, March 9, at 8 a.m. with the opening of the filing window to run for public office. The filing window closes on Thursday, March 15, at 5 p.m.
Six incumbents, including Jones, have announced their intentions to file for re-election.
“Personally, I don’t think I am ready to hang it up,” Jones said. “My wife is still working and we can both work a little longer and then pretty much retire at the same time. We’re just in the middle of the transition over into the new equipment and there are some things that are in the works that I am not ready to step away from.”
The following incumbents have also announced their intention to file paperwork to run for re-election to positions within the county:
Justin Martinez, a Democrat, plans to seek re-election and vie for a second term as Summit County Sheriff. Martinez defeated Kris Hendricksen of the Utah Valley University Police Department in 2014 to succeed former Sheriff Dave Edmunds.
“There are so many reasons why I want to run again,” he said. “I love what I am doing and I love the changes we are making at the Sheriff’s Office. I believe we are being very successful in what we are doing and creating strong relations with the community. After four years, I am just barely getting started.”
County Attorney Margaret Olson, a Democrat, was appointed in June to replace Robert Hilder, who died suddenly from complications while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Olson had worked as a self-employed attorney overseeing her own firm before accepting the position in Summit County.
Olson said she would like to seek a full four-year term to apply what she has learned about the county during the past 10 months.
“I’ve spent that time learning the job, making adjustments in the office and embarking upon projects as I become acquainted with the business of the County Council,” she said. “I have enjoyed investing further in my community and focusing on issues close to home. County Attorney is a big job, but a fun and rewarding one.”
Democrat Michael Howard won a narrow victory in 2014 when he defeated Republican opponent Gary Shumway by 56 votes. He replaced long-time auditor Blake Frazier, who occupied the position for 28 years.
If elected to another four years, Howard said, he can start moving forward with changes to bring more efficiency within the department.
“I really like the job and it’s been great to see the extent of county government’s reach,” he said. “There is a big learning curve and I feel like I can really start moving forward with the position.”
County Council seats D and E
County Council members Chris Robinson and Glenn Wright, both Democrats, are up for re-election and both have announced their intent to run.
Wright said he has started to see progress on some of the issues he is concerned about, including renewable energy and improvements to the transportation system, and would like to see further efforts come to fruition. Wright was elected to replace former County Council member Tal Adair in 2016.
“We have made some good progress and I am interested in getting more things accomplished over the next four years.”
The filing window to declare candidacy opens the day after the state legislative session ends. The state Senate District 26 seat, currently held by Sen. Kevin Van Tassell (R-Vernal), who has announced he will not seek re-election, will be on the ballot. Former County Councilor Tal Adair has announced he will run for the seat, alongside Parkite Jack Rubin and a handful of additional candidates in other counties within the district.
Rep. Tim Quinn (R-Heber City) has indicated he will run for re-election in House District 54, while Park City Democrat Meaghan Miller also intends to mount a campaign for the seat. House Districts 53 and 28, currently held by Rep. Logan Wilde (R-Croydon) and Rep. Brian King (D-Salt Lake City), respectively, will also be on the ballot.
Two school board positions will be up for election for the North Summit and South Summit school districts. Three seats will be on the ballot for the Park City School District.
Candidates must file in person at the Summit County Clerk’s Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. They have until Thursday, March 15 at 5 p.m. to file. For more information about filing, call the Summit County Clerk’s Office at 435-336-3203.
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.