The Park Record editorial, June 26-29, 2010
Primary Day in District 53 of the Utah House of Representatives turned out well for the Republican Party, and for the people of the sprawling district.
Mel Brown, the stalwart legislator and a loyal member of the GOP, advanced to the Election Day ballot by defeating Jon Hellander, a relative unknown from the fringes of the Republican Party.
Even though Hellander aligned himself with the high-profile Tea Party movement, the voters of District 53 proved smart enough and savvy enough to turn back the surging Tea Partiers.
We agree with the voters. The movement just does not represent the people in the district, especially those in Park City and the East Side of Summit County. Brown, who is from Coalville, advanced to Election Day with the support of Summit County voters as the people elsewhere went with Hellander, a Wanship resident.
In Summit County, Brown cleaned up on Primary Day, nearly doubling Hellander’s vote tally and winning by a large enough margin to offset Hellander’s showings in other places, especially Morgan County.
Hellander, in our estimation, misread the people of Park City and the East Side, even as, we acknowledge, he won some of the neighborhoods. Many, many Republican voters in the Summit County precincts of District 53 the ones who advanced Brown on Tuesday are moderates. Hellander’s unabashed conservatism just was not going to be attractive to Republican voters in Park City, as an example.
Brown, for his part, remains a member of the state’s Republican machine. Readers should not interpret this editorial as a Brown endorsement so early on in the campaign but instead a statement of relief that it is Brown who will be carrying the Republicans’ banner into November.
Given the overwhelming Republican majority in District 53, it will not be surprising if Brown is re-elected in November. His defeat of Hellander, in fact, might end up being harder fought than the upcoming campaign against Glenn Wright, the Democrat who is trying to unseat Brown.
If that is the case, we are happy that it will be Brown instead of a Tea Party type representing the district on Capitol Hill.
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