Four Republican state representative in south Davis County appear to be on their way to additional terms in the Legislature, as none face Democratic opponents.
In north Davis County, Democrats now hold only one seat on Capitol Hill - in a district that includes portions of Davis and Weber counties - but at least all four races have Democratic candidates.Davis County voters on Nov. 6 will choose eight members of the state House of Representatives.
Reps. Stan Smedley and Nancy Lyon, both R-Bountiful, face only third-party opponents, Libertarian Pat Soper and American Party candidate Herbert Henderson, respectively.
Rep. Kim Burningham, R-Bountiful, and Rep. Walt Bain, R-Farmington, have no one on ballots beside their names.
The only race without an incumbent is in Layton, where Rep. Frank Knowlton is retiring from the Legislature.
In districts that have elected Democrats 10 to 12 years ago - the most recent Democratic wins in Davis County races - Rep. Scott W. Holt, R-Syracuse, is challenged by Democrat Gale E. Voigt, and Rep. Don E. Bush, R-Clearfield, faces Democrat Vernon Borgeson and American Party hopeful Reed Newmeyer.
Incumbent Democrat Joseph L. Hull is seeking a third term in 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 council member.
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 Sunset; Clinton north of 1800 North; Hooper; Kanesville; and Wilson.
Republican incumbent Scott W. Holt wants a fourth term in the Legislature; Democrat Gale E. Voigt wants to begin a new career. District 14 voters on Nov. 6 will determine whose wish will come true.
Holt, 42, an attorney from Syracuse, said he opposes removing the sales tax on food and wants to see the sales tax structure left unchanged. He said there is a basic fairness to the tax because it is paid on the basis of consumption. And, because it makes up about 10 percent of the state's non-education revenue, it needs to be handled cautiously.
Voigt, 54, is a union sheet metal worker from Syracuse. He favors removing the sales tax on food because it would help people with lower and medium incomes.
Voigt said Utah experiences regular budget surpluses in the $56 million range, and $30 million more could be recovered by closing tax-law loopholes benefiting large corporations. He also believes making the tax rate comparable between small business and large business would produce an additional $40 million.
Voigt also believes Utah's Olympic chances have been reduced and money once earmarked for the Olympic effort could be rechanneled to help local governments affected by the sales-tax removal. And, concerning the projected budget surplus, Voigt believes the state should consider rebates to people in the middle- and lower-income brackets and should aid social service programs.
Holt said local governments will have to find their own solutions to revenue losses, probably using property taxes.
Because surpluses are generally one-time money, Holt favors using the surplus for one-time projects such as highway improvements and buildings. Holt also believes part of the surplus should be earmarked for education and bringing social service funding up to proper levels.
Holt believes the state's abortion law is adequate but he could support efforts to tighten it slightly. He said flag burning is an issue of free speech and although he opposes people using the flag that way, it is probably a constitutionally protected right.
Voigt said he believes in allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest and protecting the mother's life. He is opposed to a constitutional amendment to prevent flag burning.
Voigt believes the major challenge in the state is improving its industrial base with higher wages, which would generate a higher tax base.
Holt said he believes the toughest challenge will be meeting all state needs within existing revenue without raising taxes.
Holt enjoys beekeeping and farming in his spare time. He is actively involved with the Davis County Economic Development Council and has served as Davis County Republican Party chairman.
Voigt enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, golfing and racing horses. He is a longtime member of the Syracuse Lions Club and works with 4-H Clubs. He has served as a legislative district chairman and a delegate to county and state Democratic conventions.
District 14 includes Clearfield west of the railroad tracks, Layton west of King Street, Syracuse, West Point, Clinton south of 1800 North, and Kaysville west of I-15.
Incumbent Republican Don Bush is seeking a second term against Democrat Vernon Borgeson and the American Party's Reed Newmeyer. All are from Clearfield.
In response to a Deseret News questionnaire, both Bush and Newmeyer said they oppose efforts to remove the sales tax on food, while Borgeson spoke in favor.
Bush, 67, said revenue from the sales tax funds many of the social programs intended to aid people with small incomes. He said using tax credits would be more effective in helping those in need.
Newmeyer, 40, said he believes the sales tax is one of the most fair taxes. Those who spend less pay less. And, he said, the debate over what is food and what is not food would be difficult.
Borgeson, 70, said he believes the sales tax is regressive and especially hurts people in lower-income brackets.
Removing the sales tax would have to be phased in over three years, Borgeson said. That process would give cities and other government agencies affected by the reduction time to find alternative revenue sources. Borgeson said a phased implementation also would make the removal less severe. Regarding the impact on the Olympic effort, Borgeson said he believes it should be privately funded anyway.
Newmeyer said cutting spending would be the best way to deal with the sales tax on food being removed. He said there is a need to review social programs to ensure that workers are not trying to "find clients" to keep their programs going. He believes the UTA and the Olympic effort should be privately funded.
Bush said he would favor across-the-board spending cuts rather than tax increases in other areas to offset the potential revenue loss. He said local governments would have to fend for themselves and UTA and Olympics efforts would have to get by on less.
Newmeyer said he wants to see earthquake-preparedness and civil-defense programs get a share of the projected surplus. He said these areas have been neglected in recent years. Newmeyer said he supports abortion only to save the life of a mother. He opposes a constitutional amendment to prevent flag burning. Instead, he wants the House Committee on Un-American Activities re-established to consider the issue.
Bush said he wants the state surplus used to build up the "rainy day" fund first, with the remainder making up funding shortfalls in programs that were cut last year. If the surplus continues, he would favor a tax cut.
Bush said he would favor abortion only to protect the life of the mother and in limited instances involving rape and incest. He said he favors a constitutional amendment to protect the flag.
Borgeson said he would use the surplus to make up cuts in social programs, with the remainder turned to the regular budgeting process for use in areas where it is most needed.
Borgeson said the present state law on abortion is adequate, and he does not favor an amendment to protect the flag. He said he respects the flag as much as anyone but doesn't believe the Constitution should be tampered with to handle an isolated incident.
Bush said education is the major problem facing the state. He said there is a need for some form of site-based management, voucher system and other reforms.
Borgeson said social programs should be the state's biggest concern. He believes the Legislature has not responded properly to fund these programs.
Newmeyer said people who want the government to supply material things are the biggest problem facing the state. He said people need to learn the proper role of government.
Newmeyer is an electronics engineer who enjoys photography in his spare time. He was state chairman of the American Party in 1980.
Borgeson is retired from Hill Air Force Base, where he was involved with systems management analysis. He is actively involved with volunteer work for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. He is also a trustee for the Family Counseling Service, which is funded by United Way. He is an active Scouter and enjoys skiing, fishing, photography and square dancing.
Bush is a retired general contractor and owned his own company. He enjoys music and writing poetry. He has actively worked for the Republican Party the past 30 years.
District 15 includes Clearfield, except for an area west of the railroad tracks, and South Weber.
The final election results in District 16 will provide a new face in the Legislature come January.
Democrat Ronald L. Holt, Republican Kevin Garn and Libertarian Patricia Hunt are vying to replace retiring Republican Franklin Knowlton.
Garn, owner of a chain of music stores, said he generally favors cutting taxes but believes the present effort to remove the sales tax on food is a tax shift, not cut. He said he would favor efforts to phase out the tax to ensure that it truly is a tax cut and not a shift.
Garn said that if voters approve removing the sales tax on food, he would take that as a mandate to lower taxes and would look for ways to reduce spending.
Holt, a Weber State University professor, opposes the initiative to eliminate sales tax on food because be believes such reductions should come as part of a planned tax-reduction effort. He said cutting the tax with no plan in place is poor policy.
Holt said he favors phasing in such a reduction in conjunction with a major tax-reform package.
Hunt, a homemaker, favors removing the tax. She said 60 cents of every dollar already are being spent by politicians, most on government projects that are a usurpation of powers not granted to them and therefore unconstitutional.
Hunt said she would handle the revenue loss by removing government from programs she deems unconstitutional, such as welfare projects.
Hunt said the Utah Transit Authority and Olympics efforts should not be receiving tax money. She said these and other programs not authorized by the Constitution should be left to the free-market system.
She said the projected state surplus should be returned to taxpayers.
Holt said the surplus should be used to help offset the revenue loss if the sales tax is removed. He said the state also should give local governments a larger share of the remaining sales-tax levy to offset their losses.
Holt said he wants like to see the surplus used for roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs.
Garn said the state has made a commitment to the UTA and Olympic efforts and therefore should help find alternate funding sources.
Garn said the surplus could be used to dampen the revenue loss if the sales tax on food is removed. If the initiative fails, he suggests using the surplus to build the state's "rainy day" fund, to cover shortfalls in social service funding, and a small tax cut.
Holt said he supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and to protect the health of the mother. He opposes a constitutional amendment to protect the flag, calling such an action an "overreaction to a few crazies."
Hunt said abortion should not be permitted under any circumstance but opposes a constitutional amendment to prevent flag burning or desecration.
Garn said he opposes abortion on demand, tax-supported abortions and abortions for minors without parental consent. He said legal abortions should be permitted only to protect the mother's health and for rape and incest. He said he would support a constitutional amendment to protect the flag.
Hunt said government involvement in non-legitimate functions is the biggest problem facing the state.
Hunt said her hobbies include her grandchildren and politics. She has worked as a lobbyist in past years.
Holt said taxes, education and economic development are the biggest challenges facing the state. He said they are so intertwined that they cannot be separated.
Holt enjoys scuba diving and has a black belt in karate. He has worked on numerous campaigns in the past and in 1988 was issues coordinator for Gunn McKay's congressional bid.
Garn lists education as the most important issue in the state. He said government must be more sensitive to the needs of education and educators.
District 16 includes most of Layton, except for west of King Street.
Republican Walt Bain is unopposed seeking his third term. In the primary election, the Farmington pharmacist handily defeated a challenge by Republican Clyde Marx.
In response to a Deseret News questionnaire, Bain, 57, said he opposes removing the sales tax on food, although he would favor a reduction in the overall sales tax. Bain said he recognizes the need for tax relief in Utah. He said such reductions would require the Legislature develop a priority plan for funding state programs.
Bain said his priorities are safety on U.S. 89, education, human services and reduction of drug-related crimes. He said he is committed to reducing government waste to adequately fund programs and meet service needs.
Bain said he believes Utah's current abortion law is adequate, but he would consider a more stringent law if that were the desire of the public. He said he also would favor a constitutional amendment protecting the flag. He believes the major problems facing the state include adequate funding for education, social services and improving crowded and unsafe roads.
Bain does volunteer work for the Utah Cancer Society and the Davis County Council on Aging. He has served on the Farmington City Council and the city Planning and Zoning Commission.
District 17 includes Kaysville, except an area west of I-15; Farmington, Fruit Heights; and a corner of Centerville north of Parrish Lane and west of Main Street.
Voters will choose between incumbent Republican Stan Smedley and Libertarian Pat Soper.
Smedley, an attorney, is seeking a third term in the Legislature. Smedley said he plans to vote against the initiative to remove the sales tax from food, but he believes it is the right of the people to make the final determination. He said he does not believe his opinion is any more significant than the next voter's.
Should the initiative pass, Smedley believes the Legislature would have to review options based on comments from those involved in all areas of government.
He said the state should not make up shortfalls experienced by local governments. Because UTA and the Olympics effort have received voter endorsement, he said, the voters should be given the opportunity to vote again on these issues.
Soper said she generally favors any attempt to reduce taxes. She does not believe present political leaders will honor any specific reduction but will simply shift taxes to make up the shortfalls.
Soper said she believes many of the present government programs are not constitutional and should be eliminated. She also opposes state funding for the UTA and Olympics effort, saying these should be supported with private funding.
Soper said free enterprise is more responsive to public attitudes.
She said she believes the projected state surplus is evidence of mismanagement. She said such a surplus would not occur if taxes were adjusted properly and the surplus should be eliminated by cutting taxes.
Smedley said he favors using the surplus to make capital improvements to highways and state-owned buildings and facilities. He also favors using the money to meet some of the state's long-range commitments to public and higher education.
Smedley said he is inclined to support abortion in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. He said he is open to suggestions to solve this issue. He said he opposes a constitutional amendment on flag burning and desecration.
Soper said she believes in abortion only to protect the life of the mother. She also believes that abortion laws should be the prerogative of the state. She said the flag issue is difficult; she opposes public desecration of the flag but is not sure whether she would support a constitutional change.
Soper said the biggest challenge facing the state is overcoming the influence of special-interest groups. She opposes public spending for social programs and believes drastic measures are needed to eliminate unneeded programs.
Soper, a homemaker, is active in PTA and church functions. She enjoys singing and "most domestic-type" things.
Smedley said the greatest challenge is overcoming the general public's growing distrust of government and elected officials.
Smedley said he enjoys playing squash, canoeing and jeep riding. He is a former deputy county prosecutor.
District 18 includes most of Centerville, except for the northwest corner, north of Parrish Lane and west of Main Street; all of West Bountiful; Bountiful north of 400 North; and a section of east Bountiful between 800 East and 1300 East extending as far south at 600 South.
Kim Burningham, a retired school teacher, is unopposed for the second straight election as he prepares for a sixth term in the House.
Burningham, 54, Bountiful, opposes removing the sales tax from food. He said that in light of current revenue projections, the loss of $100 million would be "most regretful." If the voters approve the initiative, he said, the Legislature would have to adjust the tax structure to make up the deficit. Just how local governments affected by the revenue loss could be helped is unclear at this time.
Burningham wants to use the projected budget surplus to maintain the state's "rainy day" fund and to meet needs in underfunded social programs.
On the issue of abortion, Burningham would support legislation allowing abortions in instances of rape, incest and danger to the mother's life. He has mixed emotions concerning a constitutional amendment to protect the flag. "Although flag burning is regretful, I fear that a vote to ban it will undermine our freedom of speech," Burningham said.
The most pressing issue in the state, he said, is long-range planning. He said current strategic planning efforts are a first step to a solution for education funding.
Burningham enjoys free-lance writing, theater and gardening in his spare time. He works as a consultant for Shipley Associates and has served 11 years in the Legislature.
District 19 includes sections of Bountiful and Woods Cross. The Woods Cross portion is east of 1100 West. The Bountiful portion stretches east and west across the city, generally bounded by 400 North on the north. The southern border is 2600 South west of 200 West and 1800 South east of Orchard Drive.
Incumbent Republican Nancy Lyon is seeking a second term in the Legislature. She is being challenged by American Party candidate Herbert Henderson.
Henderson, 62, a retired railroad employee, said he favors removing the sales tax on food. He believes all taxes are beyond reason and "any relief that can be gotten from the thieves in our governmental systems are justified."
He said reduced revenue should be offset by reducing government in general. He said welfare and social programs all are unnecessary.
Lyon, 39, director of the Davis School District Foundation, opposes the tax removal. She said it would have too drastic an effect on state revenue. She said that if the initiative passes the state should look at a general tax restructuring. "It is vital that we have a fair and balanced tax policy. We cannot achieve this by constant tinkering," Lyon said.
Lyon said she favors using the anticipated state budget surplus strictly for one-time projects that do not increase the base budget, including rebuilding the Antelope Island causeway and funding Salt Palace expansion.
Lyon said she favors allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest and to protect the mother's life. She would not support a constitutional amendment against flag burning.
Henderson said he believes the surplus should be returned to taxpayers.
Henderson said he believes abortion is a states-rights issue and would have to give the matter more consideration before taking a position. He does not favor a constitutional amendment on flag burning but says, "Any person caught desecrating the flag should be shot on the spot."
Henderson believes state government is too large and should be reduced to the necessities. He favors cutting out all programs and services that people can do for themselves.
In his spare time he enjoys gardening. He has been an active worker in the American Party for 20 years.
Lyon said education is the biggest challenge facing the state. She said there is a need to promote excellence and accommodate growth. She believes continued aggressive economic development efforts can help expand the tax base needed to support education.
Lyon said she enjoys backpacking, skiing and running in her spare time.
District 20 includes Bountiful south of the Mueller Park Road; Val Verda; North Salt Lake; and Woods Cross west of 1100 West.