Guest editorial: State Senate candidate says Wasatch Back voters have choices beyond the GOP |

Guest editorial: State Senate candidate says Wasatch Back voters have choices beyond the GOP

Pat Vaughn
Democratic candidate, Utah Senate District 26

Complicated by mail-in ballots, the 2018 Primary Election is confusing for everyone. Who can vote, when, where and how? This has been fueled by a concentrated campaign enticing voters to switch parties and vote GOP because a non-GOP vote doesn’t matter. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

This year, there is both depth and breadth of candidate choices, platforms, including gender diversity. For as long as we can recall, Senate District 26 has been represented from the Uintah Basin by a Republican.

Three candidates running in this Primary all live in the Wasatch Back. You have choices! There are two very compelling female candidates running in the Democrat primary, Pat Vaughn (Summit & Wasatch) and Eileen Gallagher (Summit). The GOP candidate is Jack Rubin (Summit). Both Democrats have credible backgrounds that can proudly stand beside any other candidates running for this seat. In Utah, there are less than 20% women senators, despite comprising over 50% of the population. Of the 29 senate seats, 23 are Republicans and 5 are Democrats. The Dem candidates can and will represent a strong voice from the Wasatch Back plus bring some much-needed gender diversity to the Senate floor.

The premise of a recent editorial was that there are more registered Republican voters in the eastern part of the District. What is important to note is that less than 30% of registered voters exercise their right to vote in mid-term elections. The largest number of registered voters falls in the unaffiliated or independent voter category. This is the group, not the GOP that can determine victory. If Wasatch Back voters turn out for this primary, both major parties could have candidates residing from this area in the November election. Are unaffiliated voters allowed to vote in the primary? YES!

The independent voter must vote in-person. They do not need to join a party; they simply need to ask for the ballot that allows them to retain their independent status. Republicans can also vote Democratic in the primary without changing party affiliation, but they need to vote in-person.

Voter turnout is historically low because our citizens feel apathy, believing that their vote is worthless because nothing will ever change. This is true only if you make it so. This is the election that can set change in motion for the Wasatch and for the State in terms of governance. We know that better decision making requires more diverse governance.

Yes, as a candidate I would appreciate your vote. Even more, I would love our voters to no longer feel frustrated by lack of choice, and disengaged because nothing changes in Utah. Now is the time and the future is now! VOTE!

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