The Emery County Republican Party held their Nominating Convention March 30, at the Huntington Elementary School. Chairman Bill Dellos welcomed everyone and introduced the agenda for the evening. After the candidates for State and Federal offices had spoken and left for the Carbon County Convention the meeting prepared to vote for an Emery County Commissioner.
Prior to the election of candidates for the Emery County Commission, Janet Geary, under the direction of Bill Dellos Chairman of the Emery County Republican Party, instructed the delegates about voting rules and Convention procedures for electing the Commissioner candidates. The Election Judges for the Convention were James Nelson, Linda Nelson, Joshua Galvez, Tiffany Galvez, and Gayland Dugmore.
Ethan Migliori won the nomination for Emery County Commissioner, on the first ballot, by a vote of 62 percent from the 116 Emery County Republican Party Delegates attending the convention. The other candidates for commissioner were James Davis of Orangeville and Kent Keele from Castle Dale.
Migliori, his wife Heidi Conover Migliori and children live in Ferron. Migliori is a successful business owner, developed and patented a tool for the rock and granite industry. Later, he sold that business to a company in California, which gave him the opportunity to move his family back to Ferron.
He works at the college in Price as the director of the Small Business Development Center covering Emery and Carbon counties. His main function is to help small businesses with any problems that they may have. Since 2009 he has been able to help entrepreneurs create more than 200 jobs and injected more than $2.1 million back into the local businesses of Emery County. In 2008 the Emery County Economic Development Council needed a business model to do economic development for local businesses. So Migliori as chairman and the council created the Business Expansion And Retention project (BEAR). This project has been so successful, the governor's office came to the Emery County Economic Development Council and asked for permission to take this model to the rest of rural Utah. This BEAR project is now being implemented in 29 counties.
Migliori is currently working on an export pilot program for the area. This will help the Emery County businesses diversify and strengthen. This program will bring extra revenue into the county without increasing the tax burden on Emery County residents. Regarding public lands. Migliori believes the citizens of Emery County should make those decisions and not some bureaucrat in Washington. While the counting of the ballots for County Commissioner was taking place, Gary Arrington of Huntington brought up the question of raising the voting threshold from 60 percent to 70 percent to increase the possibility of a primary election for candidates. Tom Hansen of Elmo spoke for the change and Keith Johnson of Green River spoke against the change. The proposed changing of the Emery County Republican Party Constitution and Bylaws voting threshold from 60 to 70 percent was defeated by more than 80 percent of the delegates.
More than 250 people attended the convention. The majority of the delegates appeared to be in favor of Gov. Gary Herbert, US Senator Orrin Hatch, US Representative Jason Chaffetz, State Senator David Hinkins and State Representative Kay McKiff being reelected.
The following candidates for public office spoke of their qualifications for the office they were seeking. Bruce Hough the Utah Republican Party National Committeeman spoke of the upcoming Republican Party Convention in Florida. Hough said, he supports Mitt Romney a personal friend of many years. He said, "We need Romney's leadership skills and management skills to get this country headed in the right direction."
Gov. Gary Herbert said, "It is a joy to come to Emery County. I have been showing up in Emery County for many years. Thanks for taking good care of my sister who lives in Ferron with her husband.
"I understand the land issues and the challenges we have with energy issues in this state. When I became Governor I set out some goals. I created an Economic Development plan to help the state become more economically friendly to grow the jobs and create economic opportunity. We reduced taxes, cut 360 business regulations and cut employment insurance rates giving relief to our businesses across the State of Utah. We have been named the best state to do business in for the second year in a row. Our unemployment rate statewide is now down to 5.7 percent. We still have challenges both here and around the state.
"My second priority was education. We cannot have long term sustained opportunity if we do not have a good skilled labor force. I am pleased to see the Legislature embraced my recommendation to put $117 million new dollars into education, $57 million into higher education in ways that will be more innovative. My third priority is energy which is very important to this part of the state. We now have a 10 year plan to maximize our opportunities and help Utah where it needs help. This will create jobs and opportunities.
"We held an Energy Summit recently and more than 1,000 people showed up. They came from 20 states and Canada. They came to Utah to learn about energy opportunity in a free market system. We are leading out in energy development which will create jobs. We have the lowest cost energy and are exporters of energy. We are also more efficient now in state government even though we have fewer employees and 600,000 more people living in Utah than in the year 2000. Utah has an AAA bond rating. I am honored to serve as your governor," said Gov. Herbert.
Lane Ronnow a candidate for governor followed Governor Herbert. Lane said he is uniquely prepared to be Utah's next governor. He then related his experience with the Porterville Sheltered Workshop. Where he was hired to manage their finances. He found they were overspending their budget by $100,000 a month. That was about 20 percent of their budget. We changed that by proper budgeting. After 10 years there was no debt, no leases, no debt of any kind and $5 million in the bank. The savings was not done on the backs of the employees it was accomplished by proper budgeting. As director of the Salt Lake County Building and Zoning Department, I cut the budget, 30 percent, and did 60 percent more volume of work. Government quasi-government, public entities can be managed effectively. I am concerned about education. I have served as the business administrator for the Morgan School District. Education is under funded compared to the rest of the nation. Because we are badly managed it needs to be budgeted properly.
Ronnow said, "My second point is that there is enough oil in the oil shale in Eastern Utah, Western Colorado, and Southwestern Wyoming. There is more oil there, than in the Gulf of Mexico or Saudi Arabia combined. If you have a process that is patented and the process is environmentally sound. Why wouldn't everyone be willing to accept that process?
"I am concerned about education, oil shale, funding and the financial problems of the state. I have a proven record of cutting budgets and accomplishing more with less."
Morgan Philpot was not in attendance, but his wife, Natalie Philpot spoke. The candidate speakers for the Senate were Orrin Hatch represented by Dave Hansen followed by Holly Richardson speaking for Dan Liljinquist. Dale Ash said this country is eroding and if it keeps going America will collapse.
For the House of Representatives Jason Chaffetz spoke to the group followed by Scott Loveless who spoke for Lynn Wardle also running for the House of Representatives. For the State Senate race David Hinkins, Mike Stansfield and Stephen Whyte came before the group to spell out why they should be elected to that office.In the State House of Representative race the group heard from Kay McKiff, Leonard Wright and Jerry Anderson. For the office of Attorney General, Debbie Huckstep represented John Swallow. The republican party thanked Tom Hanson a teacher at Emery High School and the following student volunteers assisted Janet Geary and Elaine Hatch with registering the delegates and candidates for office. Devin Wilson, Brandon Tucker, Stetson Bennett, Shelby Allred, Jentrie Allred, Whitney Withers, Jacklyn Hofstetter, Arial Christmas and Dallice Johnson.
This convention gave those in attendance the opportunity to discuss with and listen to the candidates for office in preparation for the Nominating Convention scheduled for April 21 in Sandy.