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Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Are the media and pollsters biased against Romney?

Published: Sunday, Oct. 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Webb: A crucial assignment for the next Salt Lake County mayor is to bring citizens and local leaders together to resolve the looming annexation/incorporation battles that threaten to leave the county providing municipal services to scattered areas that lack a tax base to support those services. Perhaps the answer is wall-to-wall cities or some other structure. Citizens should be free to choose how they are governed locally, but a much broader initiative is needed to deal with county municipal services and avoid overlapping and duplicative services.

What opportunities will the Romney tsunami create for Utah Republican candidates in offices usually held by Democrats?

Pignanelli: In the 1980 and 1984 Reagan landslide victories, the beloved president's coattails were so large that several traditional Democratic seats went Republican. For a brief (mercifully) moment of Utah's political past, GOP legislators represented liberal citadels inside Salt Lake and Weber Counties. Many of the "Safe Democrats" in 2012 are working hard to avoid a repeat of history that Romney could deliver.

Webb: It's hard to imagine that Utah could become even more Republican-dominated than it is today, but it's certainly possible if Republicans turn out in historic numbers, excited by the prospect of a Romney victory. If Republicans knock off Jim Matheson and win the Salt Lake County mayorship, who would be Utah's Democratic standard bearer? Based on constituent numbers, I suppose Salt Lake County at-large council member Randy Horiuchi, County Clerk Sherrie Swensen, County Sheriff Jim Winder and County District Attorney Sim Gill could fight it out for the privilege of being Utah's top Democrat.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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