Candidates for state offices as well as current state leaders, even those not running for office, didn’t overlook Morgan voters at the Morgan County Republican Convention April 18.
*U.S. House 1
Rob Bishop said if reelected to U.S. House District 1, he would support the armed services, the fight to get public land back into state hands, and the return of power back to the states and local governments.
“When you get choice, you are more satisfied,” Bishop said.
He is concerned with the Obama administration’s defense cuts.
“I am concerned with the overall defense of the country,” Bishop said.
Bishop addressed the national debt.
“We aren’t spending too much money,” Bishop said. “We are spending money on too much.”
Bishop’s Republican opponent David Yu-Lin Chiu said he is a conservative about preserving freedom. The father of a U.S. marine serving in Iraq as well as a disabled daughter, he said he is pro-life. Chiu is concerned with the “troubled situation” Utah’s government is currently in. Like Bishop, Chiu also supports getting public lands turned over to the state, as well as government close to home.
Chiu took a crack at Bishop, saying, “Over-stayed incumbency is the mother of intrusive government.”
Chiu, whose parents had to leave Utah to solemnize their interracial marriage, said he would uphold the tradition, simple definition of marriage.
State Senate 18
State Senate 18 Republican nominees Lars Birkeland and Ann Millner also took the state last Friday.
“One language I don’t speak is politician,” said Birkeland, Mountain Green resident. “I talk straight and I don’t sugar-coat anything.”
Although standing for something may seem old-fashioned, Birkeland said he is seeking ways to speak up in support of the family, quality local education and the right for businesses to operate free of government interference.
He said he supports the Republican platform completely, and would like to see the younger generation become more active in the party.
Millner said her strength is 20 years of experience working with the state legislature “getting things done” while serving as president of Weber State University.
“Local government should be close to the people,” Millner said. Millner, who considers herself a social fiscal conservative, said if elected she would work to protect the rural economy and property rights. She also supports the expansion of Hill Air Force Base and getting the federal government out of education.
State House of
Republican nominees hoping for the State House of Representatives 53 position addressed the Morgan crowd, including incumbent Mel Brown, Blaine D. Hone and John B. Zimmerman.
“Larger government is a problem to freedom,” said Hone, who said despite his views, he wants to represent his constituents’ views.
With experience in business development, Hone said private business can run any enterprise better than government can. Hone also said the question of local control of public lands really boils down to simple property rights.
Hone said the future of the Republican Party rests in young hands.
“We need new energy, louder voices and a broader outreach,” Hone said.
Zimmerman, a practicing physician, said the house needs more doctors who have a unique view on Obamacare, which is “coming to get us.”
“The Democratic Party is trying to expand the base of those who depend on government,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman was not shy in denouncing Common Core curriculum in Utah schools, or saying the local control of public lands is a “solution to many state problems.”
Current Rep. Brown, who has served for eight years, said he supports local government autonomy.
“I believe local is best,” Brown said. “Federal government is intruding in our life.”
Brown said he voted against reducing the number of tax deductions for each married couple to two, basically taking away the opportunity to claim dependent children on taxes.
In the absence of the governor who was attending a viewing, Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox addressed the Morgan Republicans. Since he is new to the office, he introduced himself as growing up in a rural area as the sixth generation in San Pete County. He was a practicing attorney in Salt Lake before returning to his roots and serving as a city councilman and mayor in his little town of Fairview before moving into state politics.
“I was surprised when the governor called me,” Cox said. “We don’t always agree on everything, but Gov. Herbert isn’t worried about the next election. He is worried about what is best for the people in the state.”
State Attorney General
As acting attorney general in the wake of claims of fiscal improprieties, Sean D. Reyes said he has been the subject of much criticism. However, his Democratic opponent is not criticizing the audits Reyes conducted on his own office, pointing out inefficiencies in the office, fighting for public lands and visiting all rural counties in the state,
While his support of traditional marriage is drawing criticism around the state, Reyes said he is determined to continue defending it.
“When I took the oath of office, it was to defend the laws of Utah, all of them,” Reyes said. “With the strike of a pen, a federal judge silences the voices of the state.”
Although State Auditor John Dougall, or “Frugal Dougall” is not in a contested race, he addressed the Morgan Republicans. He said government’s role is to protect individual rights, not extend benefits.
Utah State Senate
Allen Christensen, who represents the Porterville and Croydon areas of Morgan County, was also on hand for the festivities. He is in the middle of serving his four-year term at the state senate, where he has served for a total of 10 years.
Morgan County Republican delegates will have the ability to narrow the field to one party nominee at the Republican State Convention to be held this Saturday.
“Our goal as a state party is to keep Republican principles reliable and relevant,” said Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans. “We need to look 15 years down the road.”
It seems to be working in Morgan County, which is the strongest Republican county in Utah, said Tina Cannon, Morgan County Republican chairwoman. As many as 80 percent of registered voters vote in Morgan, and of those, 80 percent of them vote Republican, Cannon said.
Cannon urged county residents to get to know the local and state Republican platform.