The most lively race for state House of Representative seats in Cache and Box Elder counties fizzled earlier this month with the announcement by Rep. Frank Prante, D-Logan, that he is abandoning his campaign for a third term in the Legislature.
Prante is the first Democratic legislator from the county since the 1950s, and Republicans always considered him a target in the heavily Republican county. Prante probably will be replaced on the ballot by Michael Baugh. But Baugh's battle against Republican Fred Hunsaker, who has been campaigning for months, will be difficult.Three incumbent Republicans will be unopposed on the ballot Nov. 6, and another faces opposition only from a Libertarian.
Republican R. Lee Allen, Garland, Box Elder County, a Utah legislator since 1983, is running unopposed.
Allen, 63, is a rancher and farmer and owner of Lee Allen Realty Inc., Tremonton.
He is opposed to removing the sales tax on food, but, he said, he wants to see the tax on food reduced, "but not by increasing the property or income taxes."
Allen says he believes the biggest problems facing state government are the growing demand for public and higher education, the lack of water in the state and environmental issues.
District 1 comprises parts of Box Elder and Tooele counties. The Box Elder portion covers most of the county except Brigham City, Willard, Perry and Mantua.
Republican Rob Bishop, Brigham City, has served in the Utah Legislature since 1979 and is running unopposed this year.
Bishop, 39, is a teacher and enjoys collecting antiques, refinishing furniture and the theater.
He said he opposes taking the sales tax off food. "If voters decide in favor of removing the tax on food there will have to be across-the-board reductions in government programs to meet available revenue."
Bishop said he expects property taxes will have to be increased if Utahns want the same or increased services on a local level, including Utah Transit Authority and funding the Utah Winter Olympics.
If the Supreme Court allows states more leeway in controlling abortion, he said, there may be a narrow band of conditions when abortion should be legal. But, he added, "it seems repugnant to me to use abortion as another method of birth control."
District 2 covers the Brigham City, Perry, Willard and Mantua areas of Box Elder County.
Stephen Bodily, Lewiston, Cache County, is a Republican and has served in the House since 1983. He is unopposed.
Bodily, 54, a farmer and cattleman, says he opposes taking the sales tax off food. "Most voters don't want to reduce state spending, and they prefer the sales tax to other taxes.
"If voters decide to remove the sales tax on food, our state constitution will need to be amended to allow more flexibility in the use of income taxes. I don't approve of raising taxes to make up the difference.
"If the sales tax is removed from food, local governments, the Utah Transit Authority and other agencies will have to tighten their belts and reduce services."
If there is a surplus in fiscal 1989-1990, the money should be spent on capital expenditures, such as highways and priority buildings, he said.
The only circumstances in which Bodily would favor allowing abortions are "in the cases of rape, incest, profound deformities of the fetus and a threat to the life of the mother."
District 3 comprises north Cache County: Logan west of Main Street and north of 100 North, North Logan, Hyde Park, Smithfield and areas north.
With the recent announcement that Rep. Frank Prante, D-Logan, has withdrawn from the November election, Fred R. Hunsaker, Logan, a Republican newcomer, finds himself running against Logan developer Michael W. Baugh instead of the two-term incumbent.
Prante, the first Democrat to win a Utah House seat from Cache County in 32 years, withdrew for health reasons.
Baugh wants to replace Prante on the Democratic ticket, state party officials say. The State Democratic Central Committee will meet Friday to formally replace Prante.
Fred R. Hunsaker, 51, a registered investment adviser, has been active in the Boy Scouts of America, the Chamber of Commerce and hospital and health-care work. He said he enjoys all sports, especially fishing and golf.
He is opposed to the removal of the sales tax on food and said the only circumstances in which he would favor allowing legal abortions are cases of rape, incest, critical danger to the physical health of the mother or if a competent medical authority is convinced that the fetus cannot survive after birth.
Michael W. Baugh, 34, has been active in Prante's past two campaigns and says he believes he has a good chance of winning the election "because people in this area want to keep the two-party system alive. Mr. Prante opened a lot of doors, and I think voters want to keep them open."
He said he is in favor of taking the sales tax off food "if the resulting shortfall in revenue doesn't hurt the elderly, the middle class or schools. I think local government can find ways to cut costs and be more efficient - if the sales tax comes off food."
Baugh said he wants elected officials to be more open, more accountable and more responsible to the public.
District 4 comprises northern Rich County and a section of Cache County - mainly Logan east of Main Street and north of 200 South, including the Utah State University campus.
The incumbent Republican since 1979, Evan L. Olsen of Young Ward, Cache County, faces a political newcomer, Shaun Savage, Logan, a Libertarian.
Evan L. Olsen, 58, a diary farmer who milks about 70 Holstein cows, has served in the House on the Energy, Natural Resources and Agriculture, and Revenue and Taxation committees.
He said it is up to voters whether the sales tax should be removed from food. "If taxes are removed from food, I don't think we will have to raise taxes. The Utah economy looks good to me.
"I'm confident we will be able to find money on both a state and a local level to fund current projects and services."
Shaun Savage, 35, a computer engineer, said he enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, bowling and flying an airplane. He said he favors taking the sales tax off food and such a move would help poor people and the elderly who are on fixed incomes.
If the sales tax does come off food, he said, there doesn't have to automatically be a reduction in all services. "We need to cut the bureaucracy and create a more efficient government. I would like to see more local government control of our lives and less control by the state and federal governments."
District 5 covers the southwest part of Cache County: south Logan, River Heights, Providence, Hyrum, Wellsville, Mendon and Paradise. The Logan portion generally is bounded on the north by 100 North west of Main Street and 200 South east of Main Street.