Rob Bishop

Andrea Smardon / KUER News

Democrat Donna McAleer took a second run this year at unseating Republican Rob Bishop in this First Congressional District rematch. But voters opted once again to return the incumbent to Congress.

Rob Bishop asked voters to send him back to Washington for a seventh term so he can lead the House Natural Resources Committee. He won with 64 percent of the vote.

At the Republican election night party, Bishop reminded the crowd that the GOP will control both the House and the Senate during his next term.

  Daggett County -- with the smallest population in the state – is the first to agree to Congressman Rob Bishop’s plan for protecting public lands in Utah. 

Daggett County includes the north slope of the Uintah Mountains and Flaming Gorge reservoir, as well as the towns of Manila and Dutch John.  Only about 1100 people live there.  But it’s one of eight counties where Congressman Rob Bishop has been working to build consensus on which public lands deserve protection.

Tom Smart / Utah Debate Commission Pool

    

News Director's Note: Throughout this month, KUER reporters will profile the five major mid-term election races leading up to Election Day. This is the first.

Utah’s First Congressional District includes all or part of 10 northern counties, and Rob Bishop, the Republican congressman who’s represented it for six terms, wants the voters to send him back to Washington. Donna McAleer, the Democrat challenging him for a second time, finds herself on a steep path to unseat him.

Tom Smart

Candidates vying to represent Utah’s first congressional district met in a debate Tuesday night.  Republican Congressman Rob Bishop and Democratic challenger Donna McAleer squared off in front of a live audience at Weber State University in Ogden.  

Donna McAleer wasted little time before criticizing Rob Bishop’s voting record in the U.S. House.  She called him the guardian of gridlock and blamed him for helping shut down the federal government last year.

Courtesy: / Donna McAleer

The democratic challenger vying for Utah’s 1st district congressional seat hopes two big endorsements will help her unseat the incumbent in November. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.

Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration

    

New, bipartisan legislation in Congress would advance public education and conserve important landscapes by making it easier to transfer lands between government agencies.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Democrats had a convention contest to see who would would get the chance to try unseating Republican Congressman Rob Bishop in the 1st Congressional District.

And now Donna McAleer is looking forward to a rematch against Bishop. She said she’s got much more ammunition against the incumbent in the two years since their last faceoff. McAleer says congressional bickering and Bishop’s role in the government shutdown last fall are good campaign issues in the 1st District.

Dan Bammes

  The Republicans who represent Utah’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts easily won their party’s nominations at Saturday’s state convention.

Congressman Rob Bishop is running for a seventh term.  He says his ambition is to stay there.

“I have never seriously wanted to be a U.S. Senator," Bishop told convention delegates.  Because I am committed to the House.  I am invested in the House.  I want to be effective in the House.  The only problem is, that means every two years I have to come and ask you for your vote again.”

Equal Ground Campaign

A Utahn is in line to lead the House panel that oversees the nation’s public lands. But advocates doubt Congressman Rob Bishop will pick up the tradition of bipartisan support for conservation if he gets the job leading the House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Rob Bishop

  Utah’s 1st District Congressman is hoping he can claim a key committee chairmanship that would give Utah a significant advantage in Congress.  That was one of the messages Republican Rob Bishop brought to the Utah legislature today. 

Dan Bammes

  The State Board of Education has endorsed the decision by Utah’s state trust lands agency to move ahead with a drilling lease in the Book Cliffs, even though a member of Congress and the governor’s office was asking them to hold off. 

Wikimedia Commons

  Governor Gary Herbert’s office is trying to work out a deal with Utah’s state lands agency on a drilling lease in the Book Cliffs.  

Last week, Governor Herbert asked the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, to hold off on a drilling lease in an area of the Book Cliffs in Grand County.  Sportsmen’s groups and environmentalists say the area is pristine wildlife habitat and ought to be preserved.

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense

Utah Republican Congressman Rob Bishop is praising an Air Force decision to move a major maintenance operation to Hill Air Force Base. 

  Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1) is hoping that a regional approach to resolving the status of public lands in Utah might work better than the county-by-county approach that's been tried before.  Bishop has been meeting with local government leaders and representatives of environmental groups, hoping to work out a plan that he can get through Congress.  He chairs the House Subcommittee on Public Lands.  The plan, he says, is to designate lands for preservation as wilderness and lands where development and revenue would be the primary goal.

REI

  President Obama's appointment of a new Secretary of the Interior is winning qualified praise from environmentalists and at least one member of the Utah Congressional delegation.

The president picked Sally Jewell, the top executive of REI, the outdoor equipment retailer, to replace Ken Salazar.  Tim Wagner with the Sierra Club says that's a good choice.

KUER News

Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is pushing for legislation that would reform the current Medicaid program.  The State Health Flexibility Act would introduce a federal block grant program designed to be administered by the states. 

The recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act determined that states can maintain current levels of Medicaid funding, even if they do not expand the population that is eligible for coverage.  Congressman Rob Bishop sees an opportunity.