Guest editorial: Former state Senate candidate endorses Quinn, Gallagher
This spring I was a candidate for the state Senate and was fortunate to receive the most votes in Summit and Wasatch counties in my race. While that support was not enough to prevail in the primary, the experience gave me some insights I would like to share.
As Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.” The needs of the Wasatch Back are unlikely to be well represented by politicians from the Uintah Basin. Further, and perhaps in contradiction, the Republican majority in the Statehouse gives unusual power to members of the GOP.
In the House of Representatives race, Tim Quinn, the incumbent and a Republican, is a clear choice. Tim has represented the needs of Park City by defending the single-use plastic bag ban, getting an exemption to the fire suppression legislation that would have been very problematic to Park City as well as supporting energy choice legislation that is highly desired by local residents. Tim deserves consideration by crossover voters as he is both effective and sensitive to our local needs.
The state Senate race does not present an easy solution. During my race I got to see the geographically partisan nature of our Senate district. Summit and Wasatch counties are grossly outweighed by the Uintah Basin in terms of voting power. The unique needs of our end of the district require focus and attention. I wholeheartedly support Eileen Gallagher, a Park City resident and Democrat, for the 26th District. I have gotten to know Eileen and appreciate her politics which I would characterize as moderate and she endorses quite limited state government, a big thumbs up on both counts.
The ballot to be mailed in mid-October is a big one. There are important ballot initiatives in addition to the election of officials. The two I would like to highlight are Prop 2 and Prop 4. But first, a word about ballot initiatives. When the Legislature fails to represent the needs of the people, voters can initiate government action directly to speak for themselves. Existing legislation makes this a VERY difficult process and does so intentionally. These propositions are the result of arduous work by their backers and have not been undertaken lightly, to say the least. I have met with the teams behind both propositions and have the highest regard for their intentions, abilities and character.
Proposition 4 is better known as Better Boundaries or the anti-gerrymandering initiative. If you followed my race this spring you know that the 26th state Senate District is the Mona Lisa of gerrymandering. The 26th has diluted Summit and Wasatch counties by slicing the two counties into multiple Senate districts and combining the remaining rumps with a unified Uintah Basin that includes three other counties in their entirety. Voters should choose their representatives rather than representative choosing their voters. Prop 4 is an unconditional thumbs up.
Proposition 2 is the medical cannabis initiative. The controversy and underhanded politics surrounding Prop 2 are the stuff of documentary movies. But let’s cut to the chase. Thirty other states have recognized the medicinal value of cannabis for ailments ranging from Crohn’s disease to pediatric seizures to coping with chemotherapy. Prop 2 is well written and would permit the use of cannabis by individuals who receive a doctor’s recommendation. Distribution and purchase would be via state licensed dispensaries. The benefits of Prop 2 have been recognized by the majority of states, are significant and should not be restricted by state legislation. A big thumbs up here too.
There are many choices on the ballot. I hope these views help clarify a few issues.