Michael L. Binyon: I am the Democratic candidate for the Utah State Senate in District 27. The District includes all of San Juan, Grand, Emery and Carbon Counties and parts of southern Utah and Wasatch Counties. I have lived in Utah since 1975 and have lived in Moab since 1999. I am married, have three children, nine grandchildren and five great grand children.
I am a 50-year member of Local Union 354 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and retired after having worked as a construction electrician for 42 years. The AFL-CIO endorses my candidacy. I am also the Chair of the Grand County Democratic Party.
I am running for this office because I believe that there is too much unanimity of opinion in the Utah State Senate. I feel strongly that we need to have more diversity in the Legislature.
I think that we must fund public education more adequately in the State, both K thru 12 and our local Universities and Colleges. It is embarrassing to note that Utah has the lowest per pupil funding in the Nation. In the 21st Century, it is more important then ever to properly educate our students. It is the job of the legislature to make sure that happens.
I know that the coal industry has been a mainstay of this region's economy for a long time. As an electrician, I made a very good living back in the 70's and 80's working on the construction and maintenance of several of the powerhouse units in Emery County. ( I am well aware of the need for better enforcement of safety standards on mining and industrial sites in Utah.) But coal is being supplanted by both natural gas and renewable energy, and I think that we have to look ahead to other revenue sources for this area. I would be very supportive of bringing new industry here.
Finally, under the Affordable Care Act, the state should set up a legitimate model exchange program and should fully participate in the expansion of Medicaid, so that all citizens have medical coverage.
David Hinkins: I'm David Hinkins, the Senator for Utah Senate District 27. I've called Emery County home all my life. I am running for re-election so I can continue to represent rural Utah's values. I am an experienced legislator, but first and foremost, I am a member of our community - a horse breeder, rancher, and business owner who depends on the mining industry.
I feel strongly about the same issues you do. Utah needs to grow the economy, fix education, lower taxes, seek energy independence, increase transparency of government, and safeguard individual liberty.
Jobs. True jobs that grow the economy are created by the private sector - not government.
Education. Education is important not only to individuals reaching personal goals and supporting their own families, but education is also key to a strong economy.
Smaller Government. Individual liberty increases as the level of governance is moved closer to home. The federal government spends too much, borrows too much and does too much.
Lower Taxes. The tax burden per person will be much less if we grow the economy to have more, better-paying jobs. I will work to scale back government, grow our economy and create more local jobs.
Access to Public Lands. Like most Utahns, I appreciate the beauty of our land, and as a rancher and businessman in the mining industry, I also appreciate the value our land and resources can bring our economy.
Transparency in Government. Our government is just that - ours. Citizens are entitled to know the dealings of our government and the related actions of our elected officials. I commit to remaining open to the people I represent and to be an advocate for transparency in government.
What I aim to do in the State Senate is simple; I want to stop government from making life harder for all of us. We should all be able to enjoy our jobs, families and passions without the burden of big government.