A state Senate race that extends into three counties - Salt Lake, Tooele and Utah - has four candidates vying to succeed a longtime Democratic leader.
Sen. Karl Swan, D-Tooele, is leaving the Legislature to run for Tooele County commissioner this year.Seeking to represent District 13 are Democrat George Mantes, 53, Tooele; Libertarian Jerry H. Stocks, 31, Magna; Independent Party candidate William C. Swank, 29, also of Magna; and Republican Tracy R. Wilson, 53, Lehi.
Stocks and Swank favor the initiative to remove sales tax from food. But Mantes and Wilson both oppose its removal and said taxes would simply have to be raised elsewhere.
"We would have to raise property taxes, and we'd be hurting the very people (the initiative) is trying to help," Mantes said, adding that he prefers an overhaul of the tax system.
But Stocks and Swank said the size of government needs to be reduced and the sales tax is a good place to start. "Government thinks for some reason all our money is theirs. It's time to stop them somewhere," Swank wrote.
Should there be a multimillion-dollar surplus in fiscal 1989-90, Wilson said, it should be used to cover potential shortfalls and should not be refunded to taxpayers. He said the surplus may be an indication that income taxes should be lowered.
Mantes said he does not believe there will be a surplus because the state may have to use such funds to pay off cases currently pending in court, including the AMAX Corp. case that could significantly lower property taxes of some large companies.
Stocks said he would return the surplus to taxpayers. Swank said he would either do the same or apply it to the shortfall that would occur if voters remove the sales tax from food.
The alliances differed, however, when asked what they would do as Utah legislators should a constitutional amendment banning desecration or burning of the American flag pass Congress.
Stocks and Wilson, who describes himself as an educator, said they would not vote to ratify such an amendment in the Utah Legislature. "I think (flag burners) are stupid for doing it, but who are they really hurting?" said Stocks, a technician.
Swank, a student, and Mantes, a car dealer, said they would vote to ratify such an amendment.
Concerning abortion, Swank, Stocks and Wilson said the only circumstances they favor allowing abortions is in cases of rape, incest or if it affects the health of the mother. Mantes, however, said he is a strong supporter of Roe vs. Wade and the parameters the Supreme Court decision set. He said he would respond to any findings from the governor-appointed commission.
Mantes was chairman of the Tooele City Council for two years and also has served as president of the Tooele Chamber of Commerce, the Jaycees and the Utah Auto Dealers. He said the biggest problem facing state government is the limited resources and the great financial needs.
Stocks never has held a government position, but he believes state government has expanded into too many areas and is far from what it should be doing.
Swank, who listed no political or government experience, believes low wages are the biggest problem facing the state.
Wilson has served as a voting district Republican chairman, a Lehi area vice chairman and a state and county delegate. He said the budget problems are the biggest obstacles facing state government today.
District 13 comprises all of Tooele County; Magna in Salt Lake County, except for a section between 3500 South and 4100 South from 8000 West to 7200 West that is in District 12; and Lehi, Cedar Valley and American Fork west of 100 East in Utah County.