The Emery County Republican Party hosted their county convention on April 21. The evening brought Gov. Gary Herbert to town along with other candidates running for governor, state legislature, House of Representatives and US Senate. Local candidates for sheriff, county commission, county attorney, treasurer, clerk/auditor and recorder were also present.
Bill Dellos is the chairman for the party and he conducted the convention. Mark Tanner read the party platform and also highlighted statements from the Declaration of Independence including the rights of the people should not be infringed. The platform of the Republican party protects these rights. Other parts of the platform spoke in opposition of abortion. The party proclaims a belief in God and that government should be based on a moral foundation. They are a law abiding party who supports the military and honors their sacrifice. The party encourages free enterprise, but also believes in helping the needy and helping them work toward attaining self-sufficiency. They support education and accept the need for limited taxation and they advocate lower tax rates and tax reductions.
Richard Martin is running for governor. He said he is concerned about the excessive spending on the state level. Martin doesn't believe the state of Utah is fiscally conservative. Including fees, Utah is the third-eighth most taxed state in the union according to financial reports. Martin showed a chart which compared Utah to California. Since 2000 Utah spending has jumped 34 percent while California spending has increased by 21 percent. Martin said he believes this spending can be curtailed. People in government want to keep themselves in government. Martin said predictions of an economic crisis of gigantic proportions has been forecast and Utah needs to be prepared and protect its investments.
Dan Oakes is running for governor. He said he is from Alpine and served a mission in the Dominican Republic. He graduated from Brigham Young University and started his own software company. Their software website has 10,000 hits a day and the company has been very successful. He works from home and has five children. He said people have asked him why he wants to run for governor. "We have serious problems in the country and in this state. The solution is not found in re-electing the same people. There shouldn't be professional politicians-career politicians. There was a stock drop in 1920 and the government didn't know what to do, so they cut government spending in half and this ushered in the roaring 1920s. Cutting taxes works. There are problems in education. Utah spends 60 percent of its state budget on education. That's $7,000 per pupil per year. In a 30 student class that averages out to be $210,000 per class room. The teachers wages are about $40,000 of that $210,000. Thirty thousand for the building and maintenance and that leaves $150,000, for that we could buy a laptop for each student. Where is that money going? Utah ranks 33 in the nation for its education system. I could make Utahnumber one. The problem lies with career politicians. There was a record turnout at the caucuses. Let's put a stop to lobbyists and special interest groups and give the free market a chance. This is only for a two year term. See what someone who comes from the private sector can do," said Oakes.
Gov. Herbert spoke to the audience. He said all roads lead to Ferron where his sister lives. Gov. Herbert acknowledged the large crowd and said the republicans in Emery County have grown. Gov. Herbert said reports have come out which say Utah is the state least like California. Utah is the number one best managed state. These reports come from a nonpartisan think tank. "Utah is the best managed state, we are fiscally responsible. Steve Forbes said, 'Utah understands the private sector,' Utah is one of the top three states to do business. Utah is the healthiest state, the state who uses high technology to its advantage. Utah has been ranked the number one state to come out of the recession.
"We need good leadership. We need to live within our means," said Gov. Herbert.
Jim Bennett spoke in behalf of his father Robert Bennett, incumbent to the US Senate. Bennett said he has been upset with the jabs directed at his father. It bothers him but it doesn't seem to affect his father. He believes the opponents of Sen. Bennett have been distorting the facts. They refer to Sen. Bennett as a porker. "Sen. Bennett is fighting for the people of Utah. He fights for public lands. He has started a bill to exempt Utah from the Antiquities Act, like Wyoming has done. Sen. Bennett understands that government spending is too high. Sen. Bennett has a bill before Congress to fix social security. He has solutions. Everyone wants to heap all the problems of Washington onto Sen. Bennett, because they can't vote out Pelosi and Pres. Obama. Sen. Bennett is on the water and energy committee. The fight is now. We need someone to complete that fight."
Laura Bridgewater spoke on behalf of her husband Tim who is running for US Senate. Bridgewater began by introducing herself. She said she is a professor of molecular biology at BYU. "I hope you have had a chance to meet Tim in his many trips to your county. He is willing to work hard for you. He wants to meet you and win your vote. Tim is at a candidate debate tonight. Tim grew up in a trailer park in West Jordan. He was the first in his family to complete college. He worked with the Reagan Administration. He has started several successful businesses. We need a leader with experience in the real world. He will fight against earmarks that are slipped into bills. He will act like a true conservative should act. Tim is the right man at the right time for Washington. Too many taxes make it difficult for small businesses to succeed. Tim is prepared in every way. It's time to send a new generation of leaders to Washington, D.C."
Merrill Cook, candidate for US Senate spoke for himself. He said he too was invited to the debate in Salt Lake, but he felt his time would be better served visiting Emery and Carbon counties where they understand and know the value and importance of energy. Cook related the days when he was a member of Congress for four years and had the most conservative record of anyone in the Utah delegation. While serving there Congress actually balanced the budget for three years. "We need to work to get the senate back to a conservative status. I want to be on the banking committee. There are a few senators who want me to come back to Washington and help them. Did you know that the federal reserve is made up of a group of private banks. Thomas Jefferson warned against this," said Cook.
Cherilyn Eagar, candidate for US Senate said she came to this county convention, because the people in the rural areas are the only ones left with common sense. She said it's time for a conservative woman in the senate. There are 17 women in the senate and four of them are republicans. Two of those vote with the democrats, Eager said she would work to repeal Obamacare and dismantle the department of education and the environmental protection agency. "It's not about health care, it's about control. We the people need to say no more big government," said Eagar.
John spoke for US Senate candidate Mike Lee who was unable to attend. He said all Mike Lee's committee members are all volunteers. John said when he heard Lee speak he knew that he was the one he was going to support. This country has a lot of problems and Lee is capable of helping fix them. The constitution needs to be given its place of prominence to return this country where it needs to be. Lee's family grew up discussing the constitution. Lee is a constitutional rights lawyer and knows the constitution. Utah needs to lead the way in returning leaders who support the constitution to Washington. "Help support us," said John.
The last presenter for the senate candidates was Jeremy who played the guitar in behalf of Stan Poole. One of the songs was "Obama you're not my mama," the lyrics from this song said how Pres. Obama spends trillions and how people just want to live free and not be told what to do and how to do it all the time. The other song spoke of support for the military and how the price of freedom isn't free.
The two candidates for US Congress in the second district to oppose Rep. Jim Matheson spoke next. Morgan Philpot told of the Sons of Liberty and their dedication to freedom. The United States has been described as the land of milk and honey. Philpot said as he drives in the counties which make up the second congressional district he sees land that is 67 percent federally owned. He opposed the designation of the San Rafael as a monument. "We as a people have been given a God given right to control our city, county and state and they have no right to take that away. Ten years ago I ran for the state legislature and won, then I won a second term when they said I wouldn't. If Utah doesn't send a full delegation of conservatives to Washington then who will? We need to take this district back this year. I will fight for our lands and resources," said Philpot.
Neal Walter said he is running against Jim Matheson. "We have real issues we need to deal with to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. Countries fail due to lack of fiscal responsibility and economic instability. We need a change of agenda to preserve our country. We need to promote capitalism. A business should succeed or fail on its own. The government needs to get out of the private sector. The federal government needs to work on solving its own problems and leave the private sector alone," said Walter.
Kay McIff is the current representative for the Emery, Sanpete and Sevier county areas. He said he is running unopposed in the republican party. He spoke a little on the history of the republican party. The nominations of the candidates for local office. Each candidate had someone nominate them, and then the candidate spoke. Kris Bell-assessor, Dixie Swasey-county recorder, Steven Barton-county treasurer, David Blackwell-county attorney and Brenda Tuttle-clerk/auditor are all running unopposed this year.
JR Nelson for commissioner A was nominated by Evelyn Huntsman. She said JR has name recognition and he taught school for many years and is a great guy. Nelson said, "We want to use the San Rafael. We want to recreate there and drive there. The use of public money is a sacred trust. I encourage you to use the new aquatics center. You can't be worried about how you look in a swimsuit, because I have already taken first in the ugly in swimsuit category. I've been told by Randy Johnson that every time you say, aye, you'll be hated by half the people in the county. And everytime you say nay you'll be hated by the other half. I feel like I am the kind of person who can represent Emery County. I don't know everything now. I believe in the Emery County Republican platform. I am a farmer, my grandpa was a former commissioner. I appreciate your support and I need your help with my campaign," said Nelson.
Nelson said on a quilt the school kids made for him is his favorite quote, "O be wise, what can I say more." This quote used to hang on the wall of his classroom.
In the commissioner B race Jeff Horrocks is running for reelection he has been the commissioner for one term. Horrocks said he has been honored to serve the county the past four years. Some projects he is proud to have participated in include the building of the Veterans memorial monument in Castle Dale at the Museum of the San Rafael. The construction of the new aquatics center, the construction of the children's justice center, the Green River Senior Citizens Center, the new food bank construction and the building of an industrial park in Green River to bring in new business to the area. Horrocks said they are participating on the construction of the new road to the Lila Canyon mine which will employ 200-300 people with long term good paying jobs. "I will commit to the things the citizens of Emery County want me to do. We are working on a land use bill for Emery County to keep the lifestyle we enjoy. I will commit as state and federal funds dwindle that we will keep the meals on wheels and other senior programs. We need to take care of the people who helped make Emery County great. I would appreciate four more years. I am pleased to say I have joined the ranks as a cancer survivor and have been given a good prognosis. I'm in remission and they have given me another 20-30 years. I would like to continue on as your commissioner," said Horrocks.
The next candidate to speak was Greg Funk running for Emery County Sheriff. Funk said he loves Emery County. He has four children. He has 14 years in law enforcement beginning as a jailer for Emery County Sheriff's Office. He attended Fred House and POST training. After POST he was a patrolman and worked on the drug task force. Serving on the drug task force really opened his eyes he said. During his time with the drug task force they had a record number of drug dealer arrests. "Drug dealers are a threat to our communities. Prescription abuse is a pandemic. I will go after doctors who are overprescribing. We need to treat these people with drug problems. No family will go unscathed in this pandemic. I left the sheriff's office to work for the Utah Highway Patrol," said Funk.
Funk said the deputies need technology. He would like to foster working relationships with other departments. Funk said he expects it to be a good hard fight and one he will win. He appreciates all the support he's been getting from people around the county.
Funk was nominated by his father Bruce Funk.