Retired U.S. Army Major General Peter Cooke was the Democratic Party nominee for governor of Utah in the 2012 election, but lost to the Republican incumbent, Gary Herbert. He says it was a surprise when church leaders asked him to be a mission president a few days ago. He doesn't yet know where he'll be assigned among the church's 350 missions worldwide, but he says his wife Heather and their four children are delighted with the opportunity to serve.
In his concession speech, Governor Mitt Romney prayed that the president will be successful in guiding the nation. Shortly after that, LDS Church leaders invited Americans - whatever their political persuasion - to pray for the President and the new Congress. Now LDS Democrats are calling for a day of prayer. Caucus chair Steve Olsen told KUER the prayers are directed at leaders on both sides of the aisle.
Dan Jones, President, Dan Jones & Associates Frank Pignanelli, Weekly Political Columnist for Deseret News LaVarr Webb, Publisher, Utah Policy Daily, Weekly Political Columnist for Deseret News Doug Foxley, Attorney-at-Law Partner Foxley and Pignanelli, Nationally Recognized Political Consultant
Republican Gary Herbert secured his second term in office last night, breezing past Democrat Peter Cooke by more than 36,000 votes.
Just before 11 pm, General Peter Cooke arrived unexpectedly at GOP headquarters to congratulate Governor Gary Herbert on his win. Cooke said he tried calling the governor first but he didn’t pick up. Cooke later returned to the Democratic headquarters to concede, saying Utahns need to continue fighting for education.
The process for which Utah elects members to the State Board of Education is shrouded in controversy. So much that two lawsuits have been filed against the state calling for an end to the method altogether. Some say it has manufactured a conservative group of education bosses that don’t represent the community. But those who support the system say candidates are better qualified for the job than ever and more willing to collaborate with state lawmakers to make tough choices.
Next week voters will choose the next chief law enforcement officer for the state of Utah. The Attorney General is part criminal prosecutor – part political adviser and the two candidates vying for the job have very different ideas on how to do it right.
Inside his office on the second floor of the state capitol, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he’s ready to move on. The 55-year-old Republican has held the job of the state’s chief legal advisor for 12 years and he’s proud of his efforts to protect Utahn’s while also navigating the political pitfalls of the job.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon endorsed the Regional Park and Trails bond today during an open house at the Northwest Recreation center. If approved, The Regional Park and Trails bond, or Proposition #1, authorizes the county to issue a $47 million dollar bond. The money would be used to help finish the Jordan River Parkway Trail, Parley’s Trail, and build three new regional parks. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon says the benefits of approving the proposition far outweigh the property tax increase.
It’s been 20 years since Merrill Nelson served one term in the Utah House of Representatives, but this year’s legislative redistricting has given him the opportunity to seek another. He’s a Republican who lives in Grantsville, and the new boundaries of District 68 divide Tooele County and extend all the way to Milford in Beaver County. Most of Juab County, including Eureka, is also now in District 68, and that’s where the Democratic candidate, Tom Nedreberg, comes from.
Education, the economy and voter turnout were the focus of Utah’s only Lieutenant Governor’s debate. Less than a week away from the election, Republican Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell joined Democratic candidate Vince Rampton this morning at Utah State University in Logan.
Democrat Vince Rampton says he would be a pro-active Lieutenant governor, tackling Utah’s low voter turnout and one-party rule by reforming lax campaign finance laws, expanding voter outreach and reducing lobbyist control in the legislature. He says these factors have led to helplessness among voters.
Utah’s 2nd Congressional District has been overshadowed by the newly added 4th District this election year. The race between Jim Matheson and Mia Love has attracted national attention as well as money from out of state, while candidates in the recently redrawn 2nd District have had little time in the spotlight.
Utah’s 8th Senate district candidates vie for votes in one of the states few contested races, Candidates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional district try to get noticed, and the Millcreek incorporation debate gets even hotter.
Within the boundaries of Utah’s 8th Senate district are the cities of Cottonwood Heights, Midvale, most of Murray, and a sliver of Holladay. Unlike most districts in the state the demographics of the 8th district essentially make it a toss-up between Republicans and Democrats and both candidates feel they have a shot at victory.
Emotions are running high in Millcreek Township, as residents make final appeals to voters who are undecided on whether or not to become a city. This morning residents who oppose incorporation gathered near a street corner on 2300 east to address some looming financial problems they see with the proposal. But they weren’t alone, as residents who support it gathered close by.
Two Democratic State Lawmakers joined progressive watchdog group Alliance For a Better Utah this morning to condemn what they call a barrage of negative campaign ads leading up to this year’s election.
Senator Patricia Jones says voters should not ignore the onslaught of negative political mailers and television ads being employed during this election season.
“If we feel offended or if we have questions about something that’s been said in the campaign, we owe it to ourselves and to our democratic society to call them on it and that’s what we’re doing today," Jones said.
Thanks to early voting and absentee ballots, 169,000 people have already cast ballots in Utah - or about 13 percent of registered voters. Those are the latest numbers on Friday afternoon from Justin Lee, Elections Specialist for the Lieutenant Governor’s office. At this rate, Lee said, early voting may make up half of all ballots in the state.
Utah has three independent candidates running for Congress this election. But most voters haven’t seen a single ad or billboard about their campaigns. For a candidate with no funds or party support, it’s an uphill battle to get a message out. This story looks at what it means to be an independent candidate in Utah.
A new national survey reveals the most important issues to small business owners in this year’s election. Utah is in line with national trends - rating the economy as the most important issue. But the Beehive state parts ways with the rest of the country on which Presidential candidate is a better supporter of small businesses.
George Washington University and Thumbtack.com surveyed more than 6000 small businesses across the country.
Democrat Jay Seegmiller came out with an attack Thursday on his Republican opponent for the 2nd Congressional District Chris Stewart. Seegmiller called Stewart a hypocrite for accepting federal stimulus dollars and for refusing an invitation to debate.
Seegmiller squinted into the sun as he stood in front the State Capitol building, where he once served as Representative. He told reporters that it was here he learned that if you say something, you better mean it, or someone will call you out on it.