The Park Record editorial, March 17-20, 2012
Was that really a crowd of 900 people at a political event in Park City this week? And was that another political gathering drawing upward of 300 people in the city on a different night?
Yes to both. It appears the political season this year, lasting from March until November, will be an invigorating one and one that could vanquish any lingering suspicions of community apathy left from last year’s listless City Hall campaign.
This week was Summit County’s political version of March Madness.
County Courthouse, School Board, Statehouse and congressional seats will be on the ballot alongside the White House contest. People had to declare themselves candidates for the local, state and congressional races by Thursday. An impressive number did so.
Twelve people filed the paperwork to seek a spot on the Summit County Council. There are three positions on the ballot, making the campaign notable even before the politicking has begun in earnest.
Mel Brown, a Republican legislator and Statehouse stalwart, has a challenge from within the party itself. A Democrat from the Snyderville Basin, Summit County Councilor Christopher Robinson, is mounting a bid for one of the other legislative seats representing Summit County.
There are local congressional candidates as well, somewhat of a rarity in Summit County.
It will be difficult, we acknowledge, to continue the sort of energy seen this week through Election Day, still seven-plus months away. There will be red-letter dates like the upcoming county and state conventions and then the June primary election between now and November. They provide the opportunity for people to remain engaged, even in the summer.
The top of the ticket in November President Obama versus the person who emerges from the Republican presidential field will certainly overshadow the rest of the ballot, but widespread interest in the localized campaigns is already apparent. The local campaigns, many would say, have a greater impact on the day-to-day lives of the people in Summit County than the national ones.
Let the political madness last until November.
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The County Council doled out grants supporting ventures ranging from discounting plane tickets to supporting a classical music festival.