Three candidates have announced their campaigns for the Utah Legislature: Former Democratic Rep. Sam Taylor is running this year as an Independent Party candidate in his South Salt Lake District 29; GOP Rep. Michael Waddoups is seeking re-election to his District 47 seat in the Taylorsville/-Bennion area; and Alan Hunter is running as an American Party candidate in Pleasant Grove's District 58.
Taylor was an outspoken critic of the Utah Transit Authority and a strong supporter of a number of innovative programs, including home confinement for non-felon convicts, during his years in the Utah House as a Democrat.Several years ago he was defeated within the Democratic Party by Rep. Jay Fawson, D-Salt Lake, who is retiring this year. After running unsuccessfully for his old seat as a Democrat, Taylor joined the new Independent Party of Utah.
Taylor said he wants aggressive education reforms, including choices for parents in pilot programs featuring different teaching methods. "I'll pursue more public transportation reforms to give the oppressed taxpayers more and better use of their transit system," he said.
He'll also push for youth summer employment programs aimed at giving worthwhile jobs to youths 8 to 13 years old in their neighborhoods during the summer months. "It will give youth pride and self-esteem and prevent drug use."
Waddoups said he's been successful at securing funding for the West Valley Highway and widening and improving 5400 South to ease traffic on 4500, 5400 and 6200 South streets.
He's supported improved educational opportunities through funding for technology, books and supplies. He also supported the $1,000 minimum pay raise for teachers, he said.
"Economic development is the key to our future prosperity in the state and will allow a reasonable, realistic tax policy," he said. Waddoups was commended by the Utah Taxpayers Association for his tax policies and the National Federation of Independent Businesses as a friend of business.
Hunter said the most important issue of the day is balancing government's might with what is right. "In trying to solve our problems for us, our government is taking away our liberty, and we are allowing it to happen through our own apathy.
"Sales tax on food is like taxing the very air we breathe," he said. If elected, Hunter pledges to bring government back to the local level, where it will be more responsible. "I'll fight all unconstitutional acts of our federal government and stand against a new constitutional convention."