Editorial: Summit County needs to send more Democrats to the Legislature
Utah Representative Brian King, a Democrat whose district includes a tiny corner of western Summit County, has done an admirable job over the last eight years at the state Legislature. In fact, he has done such a fine job representing House Dist. 28 that he is running unopposed — but, as a member of the state’s minority party, he could use some help. This election season, Summit County voters have the opportunity to send him some recruits.
Two of the county’s veteran legislators, Dist. 53 Rep. Mel Brown (R-Coalville) and Dist. 54 Rep. Kraig Powell (R-Heber), are not on November’s ballot, and the current GOP candidates hoping to replace them are decidedly more conservative than their predecessors.
The political views expressed by both Dist. 53 candidate Logan Wilde, of Henefer, and Dist. 54 candidate Tim Quinn, of Heber, are out of step with residents in Summit County. At recent forums, both opposed using government regulations to reduce air pollution. Quinn also said he was against raising taxes for public education while Wilde said he wanted to the state to turn over more control to local school districts.
Both said they would oppose any measures to tighten gun control and support the state’s efforts to take over the management of public lands currently held by the federal government.
Those views are diametrically opposed to the goals espoused by Park City and Summit County’s locally elected officials.
Fortunately the Democratic Party has enlisted two extremely capable candidates to run against them — Cole Capener of Park City for Dist. 53 and Rudi Kohler of Heber City for Dist. 54. Both are articulate and well versed on the Legislature’s most pressing issues, including funding for health care and education and preserving Utah’s natural environment. Their views are also in line with the nationwide shift toward more progressive positions on LGBT and women’s issues and gun control.
If Summit County voters turn out in force over the next two weeks there is a real chance they can help swing those seats over to the other side of the aisle. If so, King, who already serves as House Minority Leader, may have a fighting chance of passing some desperately needed progressive legislation in Utah.
District 53 includes precincts in North and South Summit and the Snyderville Basin. District 54 includes precincts in Park City and Heber City. Dist. 28 includes precincts in Summit Park and Pinebrook.
<i>To learn which candidates will be on your ballot, go to http://www.vote.utah.gov. Enter your address, city and zip code and click on ‘Sample Ballot.”</i>
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As we mark the life of Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, we owe it to him and the other civil rights heroes of his time to ensure his legacy does not fade into history.