SALT LAKE CITY — Davis County Republicans elected a former Woods Cross city councilman to fill a vacancy in the Utah Senate.
Meanwhile, a Democratic state senator has decided to not seek re-election after the redrawing of legislative boundaries last fall put him in the same district as another Democratic senator.
Todd Weiler, 44, will replace Sen. Dan Liljenquist pending approval of the governor. Liljenquist resigned to run for U.S. Senate.
Weiler works as vice president and general counsel for Logistic Specialties, a Layton consulting firm. He earned degrees in business and law from Brigham Young University.
In addition to serving on the Woods Cross City Council, Weiler is a past chairman of the Davis County GOP and former vice chairman of the Utah Republican Party. He also served six years on the Davis Chamber of Commerce board.
Weiler describes himself as a political junkie.
"Politics is my hobby. I don't golf and I don't run," he said.
Weiler sought the open Senate seat in part because he was displeased with the redistricting process state lawmakers went through last fall. He said the final congressional map was not publicly vetted and he didn't like the closed-door meeting Republicans held. Legislators, he said, should do the business of the people, not redraw districts to suit their friends.
"I really feel like I can make a difference on issues of accountability and transparency," he said.
Redistricting had a direct effect on Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero's political plans. New boundaries placed the Salt Lake Democrat in the same district as Sen. Pat Jones, D-Salt Lake. They two did not want to run against each other.
Legislators in that situation were allowed to submit a letter to the Senate by Jan. 3 stating they would not run in 2012, allowing the other to maintain the seat until the end of his or her current term. Romero did that and Jones won't face re-electon until 2014.
Having made that decision, Romero, who served one term in the House and is in the middle of second Senate term, entered the race for Salt Lake County mayor.
"The county mayor race is an all-in proposition for me," he said.
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