Carbon Democrats, Republicans select delegates at conventions
|Volunteers cover the entryway at Mont Harmon Junior High with campaign signs for the party's election candidates prior to the Republicans' county convention at the school on Tuesday.|
Carbon's two major political parties conducted county conventions during the past week.
Carbon County Democratic Party members met last Friday at the College of Eastern Utah's Leavitt student center, while Republicans gathered Tuesday at Mont Harmon Junior High School.
The local party chairs, Democrat Willie Daughn and Republican Woody Carter, were pleased by the attendance at the conventions.
The two meetings were loaded with local, state and federal candidates running for elected offices, ranging from the United States Senate to the Utah House of Representatives.
The Democratic convention featured the Jim Matheson, who is trying to be re-elected to another term in the U.S. Congress, and Scott Matheson, who is the only Democrat making a bid to occupy the governor's seat.
A myriad of candidates has filed for the two positions from the Republican Party and a number were present at the Tuesday meeting with local GOP delegates.
In the race for the Republican nomination for governor are nine candidates.
Candidates present at the county convention included Fred Lampropoulos, Gary Benson and Gayle McKeachnie, the current lieutenant governor who represented Olene Walker's election bid at the local party gathering.
Nolan Karras, Parley Helle-well, James Hansen, Marty Stephens and Jon Huntsman as well as others running for the governor's office sent proxies to speak to the Republican convention.
Gary Herbert announced Tuesday that he had accepted an offer from Huntsman to join his campaign as the lieutenant governor candidate.
In the second district congressional race, two Republican candidates attended the county meeting, David Wilde and Tim Bridgewater. John Swallow sent a representative to speak at the county convention.
In the U.S. Senate race, candidate Cody Judy attended the county convention, while Paul Van Dam was represented by his campaign manager at the gathering.
Republican Bob Bennett sent a campaign staffer to speak for his candidacy at the party's county convention.
For the state attorney general's race, incumbent Republican Mark Shurtleff was unable to attend the Carbon meeting due to a scheduling conflict and had a proxy speak for him.
At the Democratic convention, attorney general candidate Gregory Skordas posted remarks to the audience.
As for local races, the conventions' programs started with comments from the candidates running for the Carbon County Commission.
Incumbent Democrat Mike Milovich spoke about several concerns facing the county commission, particularly water issues.
At the Republican meeting, Gerald Lloyd spoke primarily about his take on similar issues.
Another race that is getting a great deal of attention in the area is the race which will pit incumbent Democrat Utah Senator Mike Dmitrich (District 27) against one of two Republican candidates from Utah County, Vickie Syphrett Peterson and Phillip Peay.
Dmitrich spoke at the Democratic convention about water and land issues, while both Peterson and Peay spoke about their dedication to principles that have made Utah the state that it is.
Another race that puts a Carbon County product up against Utah-Juab county resident looking to be elected is the Utah Representative seat from District 67.
The Utah House of Representatives' district, which encompasses about one-third of the population of Carbon County, had been occupied by Darin Peterson. But the Juab County resident decided to run for the Utah Senate in his area. No incumbents spoke at the local conventions, but all the challengers attended the meetings.
Walt Borla from Helper is the lone Carbon County candidate who filed to run for the Utah House seat on the Democratic Party ticket. Borla spoke at the convention about the traditions of Carbon County and how the state needs to focus on funding education.
At the Republican convention, Patrick Painter, Richard Moss and Ray Rowley spoke about issues they thought were important to the entire district. John Ryan, another Republican candidate, was not able to attend the Carbon meeting.
In the Utah Representative District 69 election, there is only one candidate, incumbent Democrat Brad King. At the convention, he voiced relief that he can concentrate on working on important issues rather than running a campaign. King spoke about the problems the district will faces in the next two years.
The two major county political organizations will send delegates to respective state conventions in May, where the field of candidates will be pared down, based on the individual party races, to the individuals who will compete at a primary or in the November general election.