Political parties hold conventions
County Democrats met at the Orangeville Community Center on March 30 for their convention. This convention is to complete business and nominate delegates to attend the state convention to be held April 20-21 in Salt Lake City. Kim Player, county secretary, opened the meeting with a call to attention of all delegates and those in attendance. The Elmo Cub Scouts presented the flag ceremony and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Emery County Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth led the group in singing the National Anthem.
Emery County Party Chairman Gary Petty welcomed everyone in attendance and noted the elected officials in attendance. Jim Judd, assistant to the State Chairman, said, "This is an exciting time for Democrats in Utah. There are many exciting opportunities right now for Democrats. We have an advantage as Democrats, we are free thinkers. You are the key to this party."
Pete Ashdown, candidate for Senate, said, "I run an internet provider company called Xmission. I have employees and know how to deal with them. I also know that those people elected in this state are employees of the people of Utah. Most elected officials are beholden to those who contributed money to help get them elected. We need to get the money out of politics and repair our democracy."
Scott Howell, Senate candidate said, "I grew up in Castle Dale and it is good to be back home. I have worked for IBM for 34 years. I have three parts to my campaign issues, economic development, education, and energy. I promise to be a good listener if I am elected. About energy, it is not right for foreign countries to hold us hostage over energy. Orrin Hatch vowed during his first campaign to only stay in two terms. He has now been there 36 years, our founding fathers would be appalled."
Richard Clark, candidate for Congress, began by asking, "What do you want to happen in Washington D.C.?" He said people need to get involved and elect candidates who speak for them. "I am a West Point graduate and served in the Army for 30 years. I was in the Special Forces and was a Colonel when I retired. I then went to law school and have been an attorney for the government since then. The size of government and the intrusions they are trying to make in our lives is unacceptable. Government is supposed to serve the country, not control it."
Soren Simonsen, candidate for Congress said, "I am running with three things in mind, diplomacy, thrift, and stewardship. Diplomacy is getting along and working together. Thrift is living within your means and investing in jobs, education, and transportation. I believe in America and these three things.
Rob Miller, State Party treasurer, spoke for Peter Cooke who is running for the office of Governor. "Peter Cooke is a two star general who also served as economic director under Gov. Scott Matheson." Miller asked if everyone remembered the good economic times under Matheson. He said we can have those again. He said Cooke is a man of integrity and honesty.
Dee Smith, candidate for attorney general is currently the county attorney in Weber County. He said, "Utah needs their top prosecutor to be a prosecutor not a politician. I am the only candidate who has been a prosecutor and I have a great deal of courtroom experience."
Christopher Stout, candidate for state treasurer said, "It is time to restore this office to what it was intended by the framers of the Constitution. I will protect the treasury and I will protect your money. Democrats believe in effective and efficient government."
Of the candidates for national committee positions, only Billie Gay Larson was in attendance and she told the delegates of her vast amount of experience in Washington D.C.
Lamar Guymon stood to enter a nomination for Emery County Commissioner in the upcoming election. "It is my pleasure to nominate Laurie Pitchforth for the office of county commissioner. She is a woman of integrity and she is a great leader."
Pitchforth replied with thanks to everyone for being present. "This year's race is going to be quite a race. There are many energy issues and public lands issues. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a commissioner and I want to continue to serve Emery County as commissioner."
To conclude the convention, the Emery County Democratic Party nominated their delegates to attend the state convention. They are: Tom Grimm, Lamar Guymon, Tracy Randall, ElRoy Mortensen, Jan Mortensen, Max Tucker, Eva Tucker, Stan Willson, Cheryl Keener, Gary Kofford, Paula Lucas, Savanah Duran, Taylor Hardman, Megan Kemple, Laurie Pitchforth, and Jenny Van Tussenbrook.