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Meet The Candidate - Glenn Wright

Glenn Wright
Article Date: 
30 July, 2010 - 06:00

Glenn Wright is the Democratic candidate for Utah House District 53.  Wright says that he is “not a typical Utah politician.”  Wright was born in New Jersey, and he grew up in the Northeast where his father worked in textiles.    
His family moved to Anville, Pennsylvania, which is near Hershey, and that is where he started in school.  Wright went on to attend college at Rensselaer Polytechnic where he earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  
Wright then entered the United States Air Force where he served for the next six years.  He was a pilot and flew more than 250 combat missions in the Vietnam War.
After leaving the Air Force, Wright became a safety engineer for Chubb Insurance.  This job took him to Boston, New Jersey, and South Florida.
He retired in 2005 and relocated to Park City in 2006.  He said that he had visited Utah a number of times as a skier, and he loves the surroundings and the beauty of the area.  
However, Wright was “appalled about what was happening in the [Utah] legislature.”  He was particularly concerned about the relatively loose laws regulating campaign donations and their use.  
He commented that politicians in other states that used campaign donations as they were being used in Utah found themselves in trouble with the law.  He also expressed concern about the way in which the legislature was offering tax breaks to existing profitable companies instead of using the tax incentives to attract new businesses to the state.  
These concerns convinced Wright to run for the Utah House Seat.  Wright continues to be concerned with the donations he sees directed at Utah lawmakers.  He believes that there is not enough control over the use of these donations and that this can lead to undue influence by special interests.  He said, “Investing in the Legislature pays off.”
Wright believes that more needs to be done to promote jobs in the rural areas of the state.  He believes there are many job opportunities the state could foster with the right incentives.  He particularly sees opportunities in jobs relating to renewable energy.  These are jobs well suited to the rural environment, and jobs that he believes could provide good earning potential for the future so that there is a greater business tax base to reduce the burden on home owners.  He also believes that these industries could create good jobs for the youth and others in the community so that more residents can work in the area rather than commuting to their work.
Wright is also concerned about education in Utah .  He is concerned that the trends are in the wrong direction.  While he recognizes that Utah is getting good results for the investment the state is making.  He notes that as the spending in Utah has slipped over time that Utah’s standing in the education statistics has also fallen.  He is concerned that Utah is trending downward and that there is not enough being done to strengthen education.  He sees this as a critical initiative for the benefit of the students, but also for the economy of the state to attract good industry with jobs for the state residents.  
Wright is not in favor of vouchers.  He recognizes that some alternative education programs, like charter schools, have worked and produced excellent results in some areas of the nation, but believes the Utah approach is wrong.  Wright expressed concern Utah’s approach to charter schools makes the builders of the Charter Schools wealthy at the expense of teachers’ salaries, taxpayer expense, and students’ education.  
Wright believes that we should start the discussion about education with the objectives we want to achieve.  The questions he would ask are, “How big should the class size be?”, “What is appropriate pay for teachers?”, and “What results do we want to achieve?”  He believes that if we start with the answers to these questions in mind that a different direction will be taken.
Wright believes that Utah has one of the best equalization systems for school spending in the Nation.  He is concerned with some proposals on the table now in the legislature that he believes go too far.  He would like to see the good policies of the past in equalization continued rather than make changes.
Wright finished the discussion with “I am not like the people here in Morgan County.  I am a move in, I am not a Mormon, I got to be up front about that.  I don’t fit in with maybe some of the long-term culture here, but I care about the community. And I think the issues I am talking about in my campaign, I think everyone can agree on.”  He continues with a smile and a laugh, “So, don’t be afraid of me.  I am not the move in devil from Park City. “
Wright hopes that the voters in the county will look at the issues he represents, give him a fair hearing, and make a decision based on the soundness of his ideas.  To find out more about Wright visit his website at http://wrightfor53.com or email him at glenn@wrightfor53.com