Summit County Democrats select diverse list of candidates for County Attorney
List includes Hilder’s widow and a former City Attorney
May 23, 2017
The Summit County Democratic Party has selected eight candidates for County Attorney, including a former Park City Hall attorney and the widow of Robert Hilder, who died last month mid-term.
Hilder, who was 67 and county attorney since 2014, died suddenly from complications while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. He was diagnosed in early February with esophageal cancer.
Earlier this month, the Summit County Council appointed Dave Thomas, chief civil deputy attorney, as acting county attorney while the county's Democratic Party began the formal process of selecting nominees for a replacement. The County Council has 45 days from Hilder's death to appoint a new official.
Cheryl Butler, chair of the county's Democratic Party, said members of the executive committee chose the following individuals because "they are very representative of our community."
- Tera Ames– managing partner in the firm Ames & Ames, which has Kamas and Nevada offices. She regularly sits as a Judge Pro Tempore in North Las Vegas Justice Court.
- Anne Cameron– a former prosecutor in the Summit County Attorney's Office who currently has her own practice in Park City.
- Jan McCosh– Salt Lake City attorney and partner in the firm Hilder McCosh. She graduated law school in 2009 and has focused her practice on public policy and land use.
- Patricia Cassell– chief prosecutor in the Summit County Attorney's Office. For more than a decade, she worked as the assistant administrator in the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.
- Margaret Olson– partner in the Salt Lake City firm Hobbs & Olson. She has been a member of the Utah Bar since 1992 and worked briefly in the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.
- Collin Simonsen- a Salt Lake City attorney who has been a member of the Utah Bar since 2009. He is a civil litigation attorney working in private practice.
- Jodi Hoffman– a former City Hall attorney who resigned in 1999. She is currently a land use attorney for the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
- Joseph Silverzweig– a practicing attorney in Midway, mainly specializing in civil litigation and criminal defense. He graduated from the University of Utah Law School in 2012.
Butler said the candidates meet the qualifications for the position, including being currently licensed in good standing with the Utah State Bar with no public disciplinary actions. For those who do not currently reside in the county, they are allowed to become a resident within 30 days after appointment.
The Summit County Democratic Party's central committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the cafeteria of the Park City High School. The meeting is open to the public, but voting will be restricted to members of the central committee.
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The central committee is comprised of the officers of the county's party, elected officials and about 80 delegates. At the meeting, three names will be selected from the list to be forwarded to the County Council. Butler said the council may conduct interviews as early as next week.
A new county attorney must be appointed by June 12 or Gov. Gary Herbert will be required to name a replacement.
"We are absolutely very pleased with the robust slate of candidates that we have and we are very thankful that everyone in the party, including in Summit and Wasatch Counties, really pulled out all of the stops to call friends, coworkers and attorneys to let them know this position was available," Butler said.
The Summit County Democratic Party's central committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the cafeteria of the Park City High School to select the top three candidates for county attorney. The meeting is open to the public, but voting will be restricted to members of the central committee.
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