The most prominent Democrat among Weber County legislators, Rep. Grant D. Protzman, D-North Ogden, faces probably the most prominent challenger among the state House of Representatives races in the county.
County Clerk Richard Greene is the Republican opponent to Protzman, who at one time was considered a potential Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep James Hansen, R-Utah.The Protzman-Greene race is one of eight House contests in Weber County that will be on the ballot Nov. 6. Weber is the only major county in the state where all legislative contests have both Republican and Democratic candidates.
While Democrat Protzman faces a well-known challenger, it's common knowledge that the most prominent Republican in the Weber delegation, House Speaker Nolan E. Karras, R-Roy, won't be re-elected. He is not seeking another term.
Republican incumbent Martin Stephens, Farr West, is completing his first term in the House and will face a political newcomer, Democrat Leon L. Jones, Ogden.
Martin Stephens, 36, a retail markets manager for Zions Insurance Agency, has been mayor of Farr West and a member of the City Council.
He said he opposes removing the sales tax on food. "If voters approve the measure, lawmakers on the state and local levels will have to cut spending."
If a multimillion-dollar surplus is found in the 1989-90 Utah budget, Stephens said, "I'd like to see the money spent for one-time capital improvements and an increase in the state's rainy-day fund."
If the Supreme Court allows states more leeway in controlling abortion, Stephens would favor allowing legal abortions only to save the life of the mother and in cases or rape or incest.
Stephens said the biggest problem facing state government is spending. "We need to take a close look at the appropriations process."
Leon L. Jones, 55, a senior scientist at Research and Development Laboratories, Thiokol Corp., says the biggest problem facing state government is improving the educational system.
"I'd like to see a reduction in the student-to-teacher ratio, a long-term method of identifying and rewarding good teachers, minimum requirements established in mathematics and science, adequate incentives to attract and retain quality teachers, control of schools returned to local levels and parents and students allowed to choose what schools they attend within districts."
Jones said he doesn't believe any cuts in services will be necessary if the sales tax is removed from food and, he said, he is in favor of allowing legal abortion under all circumstances.
District 6 covers northwest Weber County, including Ogden north of the Weber River and west of Washington Boulevard, Harrisville, Pleasant View, Plain City, West Warren and Farr West.
Rep. Grant Protzman, D-North Ogden, favors the initiative to take the sales tax off food, while his opponent, Republican Richard Greene, signed the petition putting the issue on the ballot but prefers to let voters decide.
"This initiative should not be considered in isolation. It should be the first step in a comprehensive plan to make Utah taxes more fair," said Protzman, a two-term member of the state House of Representatives.
"Utah has one of the most unfair tax systems in the U.S., and it needs to be revised to give middle income families a break," he said, calling for limits on the sales-tax exemptions given to businesses.
Greene, who is completing his second term as the Weber County clerk, said his polling indicates that taxes should be reduced. "Only after careful consideration should any cuts be made," he said.
As for how he would deal with the shortfall to local governments, the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Olympic fund, Greene said: "People polled in my district suggest reductions in spending. The private sector should fund any Olympic shortfalls."
Both candidates said they favored restrictions on legal abortions. Protzman said his family feels "very strongly about the sanctity of life. Abortion should be available only in cases of rape, incest or to preserve the mother's life. In addition, we must be willing to provide the care needed for babies that are born due to this restrictive policy."
Greene said he would allow legal abortions "only after mandatory counseling and special mitigating circumstances. I am not in favor of abortions. However, every circumstance and situation is unique. There is no wholesale answer to this dilemma."
Protzman said the biggest problem facing state government is Utah's "rapidly growing population that needs to receive a quality education and must also have the opportunity for quality jobs."
To solve that problem "requires bold leadership that recognizes the reality of a global economy and develops both education systems and economic development approaches to maximize Utah's human resources," he said.
Greene cited a different problem as the most pressing faced by state government. "The biggest problem is that the Legislature is unable to prioritize and focus its energy on solutions of any kind."
He came up with a proposed solution. "Limitation of the number of bills each session should consider is one answer," Greene said.
Protzman is a planning and development officer with Weber State College and a senior consultant for a business consulting firm. Greene was the first Republican county clerk elected in Weber County in more than 52 years.
District 7 includes northeast Ogden and North Ogden, generally east of Washington Boulevard and north of Seventh Street.
Three candidates seek the District 8 seat, as Democrat Haynes R. Fuller, Eden, who has held the post since 1987, will face two Huntsville residents, Republican Zane B. Froerer and Independent Party candidate Deyonne A. Walker.
Haynes R. Fuller, 62, a rancher and cattle feeder and owner of the Evergreen Seed & Supply Co. in Eden, opposes taking the sales tax off food because that kind of wide-based low-rate tax is especially the kind of tax he believes in.
"I would, however, like to see an across-the-board cut in sales taxes by at least a quarter of a cent."
If a multimillion-dollar surplus is available in the current state budget, Fuller wants to see the money spent helping local communities, especially in rural areas of the state, and bolstering the paramedic programs in Utah, improving highways and reducing the bonding load for state capital expenditures.
Fuller said he doesn't want to modify Utah's present abortion law and would not support an amendment banning desecration or burning of the American flag. "Flag burners are sick and troubled, but I don't think an amendment will help anybody."
Zane B. Froerer, 36, a real estate agent and active in local and state real estate associations, has been a Boy Scout and Varsity Scout leader.
He said the biggest problem in state government is too many people want too much. "We need to eliminate excesses and get back to basic services. Government shouldn't be a free lunch," he said.
Froerer opposes taking the sales tax off food and believes that if such a measure passes state and local services would have to be cut or even eliminated and other taxes increased if services are to be maintained.
He believes legal abortions should be allowed if there is a danger to the mother's health and in the cases of rape or incest, and he believes Utah's present abortion law should be re-examined.
He would support a constitutional amendment to ban desecration or burning of the American flag.
Deyonne A. Walker, 61, a computer systems consultant, is retired from Hill Air Force Base, where she was employed 25 years. She believes abortion should be used only to save the life of a mother and "should not be used as a license to destroy any child or as a form of birth control."
She is in favor of tax limitation on private property and believes taxes should be applied to the project for which they are collected - "gasoline taxes should be used for highways, for instance."
"High taxes are driving retirees out of Utah. They are productive citizens with few demands on state services. They must be able to afford to maintain their homes here."
Walker believes control of school curriculums and expenditures should be returned to local schools with parents and teachers the major participants in making decisions.
District 8 comprises Ogden Valley and parts of Ogden: east of Harrison between Seventh and 27th streets and east of Washington Boulevard between Seventh Street and the Ogden River.
Democrat John B. Arrington, Ogden, a member of the Utah House of Representatives since 1979, will square off against another legislative veteran, the Rev. Robert L. Harris, Ogden, a Republican.
John B. Arrington, 71, a retired military and federal government employee, spent 10 years in business management and was a member of the Ogden City Council nine years before being elected to the House 12 years ago.
He is against taking the sales tax off food because, he said, "it will probably hurt those who benefit most from the tax. If the measure passes, it will be a clear message to state and local governments that people want services reduced."
Arrington said he would favor allowing legal abortions only to save the life of a mother and in the cases of rape and incest. The biggest problem facing state government, he said, is education.
Robert L. Harris, 65, a retired railroad worker and businessman, says he is the first black person to be elected to a state office in Utah. He served as a Democrat in the House of Representatives in 1977 and 1978.
He is opposed to the removal of the sales tax on food because, he says, "taxes will have to be raised someplace else." If there is a multimillion-dollar surplus in the current Utah budget, Harris says, "I'd spend it to help older people pay their gas bills and help the poor purchase food."
Harris opposes abortion except to save a mother's life and says he is 100 percent against flag burning. The No. 1 problem in the state, he says, is drug abuse.
District 9 includes portions of Ogden - generally between 30th Street and the Ogden River east of Adams Avenue, and between Riverdale Road and 20th Street west of Adams Avenue - and Riverdale north of Riverdale Road.
Democrat Dionne Halverson, Ogden, nearing the end of her first two-year term in the Utah House of Representatives, faces Republican Patrick Butler, Ogden, a political newcomer.
Dionne Halverson, 43, a homemaker, has been active in the March of Dimes, PTA and Boy Scouts, where she serves on a national board.
Rather than removing the sales tax on food, Halverson favors an income-tax credit. "Replacing lost revenue would be virtually impossible without imposing a tax somewhere else," she said.
If there is a multimillion-dollar surplus in the current state budget, she said, "it should be used in rebracketing the state income-tax structure."
Halverson believes the current state abortion law is adequate and, until the Supreme Court allows states more leeway in controlling abortion, Utah's law should stand. She is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning desecration or burning of the American flag.
State government's biggest problem, she said, is revenue fluctuation and funding higher education.
Patrick Butler, 26, an Advanced Placement history teacher at Ogden High School, has served on the Ogden City Public Works Budget Advisory Committee and the Mission 2000 Health & Human Task Force in his area.
He said the biggest problem in state government is providing young people with a quality education. He believes a growing bureaucracy in education is one obstacle to improving education.
Butler opposes taking the sales tax off food, even though he doesn't like such a tax, and says that if such a measure passes Nov. 6 "some other tax, such as the property tax, will probably be raised to fix the shortfall."
If lawmakers find a multimillion-dollar surplus in the budget, he says, "I'd use the money to increase funding of social services, strengthen our economic development programs, increase Utah Highway Patrol salaries and hire more troopers."
District 10 cover parts of Ogden, generally east of Adams Avenue and south of 30th Street; South Ogden, north of 42nd Street; and Washington Terrace, north of 4000 South.
Republican Doug Holmes, South Ogden, a member of the House since 1989, will face Democrat Byron F. Anderson, Riverdale.
Doug Holmes, 58, Riverdale city attorney and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, is past chairman of the Ogden Area Chamber of Commerce and on the board of St. Benedict's Hospital and the Air Force Heritage Museum at Hill Air Force Base.
He believes state government's biggest problem is the poor showing students make in mathematics and science tests compared to students from other nations. "I would like to see graduation requirements tightened - it doesn't cost any more - and students challenged to do better in school."
Holmes says he will vote against taking the sales tax off food and, if there is a multimillion-dollar surplus in the current state budget "would spend it to help schools and fund some one-time projects."
Byron F. Anderson, 37, a sales manager, has helped raise money for the Ronald McDonald House and has conducted workshops for Weber County drug and alcohol programs.
He says the biggest problem facing state government is its control by the Republican Party. "Such control inhibits public debate on important issues," he said.
Anderson opposes taking the sales tax off food because "the governor and the current Legislature would punish those that would benefit most from such a tax removal. A phased removal of the sales tax on food seems more appropriate."
He said he would use a multimillion-dollar budget surplus to help the Department of Human Services.
District 11 included portions of Washington Terrace south of 4400 South, South Ogden south of 42nd Street, Riverdale south of Riverdale Road, and Uintah.
Two political newcomers are seeking the District 12 seat, which will be vacant when House Speaker Nolan E. Karras, R-Roy, retires from politics at the end of the year.
Democrat V. DeMont Wiberg, 53, a Union Pacific Railroad employee and a retired educator, will face Republican Larry J. Peterson, 39, an advanced placement teacher at Bonneville High School and an independent real estate appraiser. Both live in Roy.
The two candidates oppose taking the sales tax off food and favor allowing legal abortions only in the case of rape, incest or when the mother's life is threatened, but differ on their support of a constitutional amendment banning desecration or burning of the American flag.
Wiberg opposes such an amendment; Peterson says he would favor it.
A volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, Wiberg says the biggest problem facing state government is the growing bureaucracy and the government's lack of accountability to its citizens.
Peterson, a member of the board of American Youth Soccer, Region 286, and president of the Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics, believes state government's biggest problem is its lack of long-range plans and its habit of crisis management.
District 12 includes the Roy area - generally from 4000 South to Davis County, between 3500 West and I-15.
Incumbent Democrat Joseph L. Hull is seeking a third term in House District 13, which includes the northwest corner of Davis County and the southwest corner of Weber County.
He is being challenged by Republican John Beus. Both candidates live in the Hooper area of Weber County.
Hull, 44, teaches German in the Weber School District and enjoys gardening, camping and woodworking.
Beus, 56, is a lifelong farmer and has been active in church work and the Utah Farm Bureau. He is a former Hooper town councilmember.
Both candidates oppose Initiative A, which would remove the sales tax on food.
Hull said that while he believes the tax is regressive he would support its removal only if cities, towns and other agencies dependent on its revenue could be protected from the revenue loss.
"I would prefer recodification of other taxes, shifting more of the tax burden to the wealthy," Hull said.
Beus said he believes the food tax is fair because it is paid by everyone. He also supports it because the revenue is shared with the cities.
"It will never happen," Beus said in reference to the initiative. "There should be no property-tax increase (to offset the loss to cities)."
Beus said he would favor using the state's projected budget surplus to help cities and local governments if the food tax is removed.
Hull said he is undecided on the best approach to helping cities if the tax initiative passes. He said the surplus, which he believes will be one-time money, should be used to refurbish the state's infrastructure such as highways and existing buildings.
Regarding the abortion issue, Hull said he favors the laws now in effect in Utah.
Beus said he would support abortion to protect the mother's life and in cases of rape only if reported within 12 hours.
Beus said he believes health care, the high cost of insurance and working mothers are the state's most important issues.
Hull said he is most concerned about Utah's inability to support a healthy, balanced two-party political system in which new ideas, debate, confrontation and compromise are not stifled.
District 13 includes the Hooper, Kanesville and Wilson areas of Weber County. Also, Clinton north of 1800 North and Sunset in Davis County.