Two state Senate races will be on ballots in parts of Utah County Tuesday.
The far northern part of the county will join with voters in Tooele County and Magna in Salt Lake County to elect a new senator, succeeding a longtime Democratic leader. Utah County voters often are overshadowed by the heavily Democratic Tooele County and Magna areas.In an Orem and Provo district, Sen. LeRay L. McAllister, R-Orem, faces no Democratic opponents but does have two third-party contenders on the ballot with him.
Senators in other Utah County districts were elected in 1988 to four-year terms and will not come before voters this year.
Four candidates are hoping voters will award them the seat now held by Sen. Karl Swan, D-Tooele, who is leaving the Legislature to run for Tooele County commissioner.
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, both 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 legal 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. "The things we expect of government should be reduced and put back into the hands of the people," he said.
Swank, who listed no political or government experience, believes low wages are the biggest problem facing the state. "Let's bring to the state only companies that are willing to pay a fair wage. There is no excuse for low wages. Most workers are honest, hard workers. How about a fair wage?" he said.
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; and Lehi, Cedar Valley and American Fork west of 100 East in Utah County.
Incumbent LeRay L. McAllister is facing opposition from the American and Utah Independent parties.
McAllister, a Republican, was elected to the Senate in 1982. Before that, he served in the Utah House of Representatives for eight years.
The major problem facing state government is funding for public and higher education, McAllister said.
He is opposed to removing the sales tax on food. "The impact on the ongoing revenue of the state would be very significant," McAllister said. "The surpluses presently identified are one-time funds that would be lost if the food sales taxes were to be removed.
"Utah faces a significant demand for construction of state buildings. The one-time surplus which is foreseen should be used to build some of these buildings," McAllister said.
"The removal of the sales tax on food would significantly impact many of the smaller communities in Utah where most of the sales tax revenues derived come from the sale of food."
If voters remove the sales tax on food, McAllister said other taxes would have to be increased. "Local governments would have to be given greater flexibility" to raise revenue, he said.
McAllister favors legal abortions only for rape, incest, life or health of the mother, or a fetus unable to survive without life support.
He would vote to ratify an amendment banning desecration or burning of the American flag.
McAllister, 60, teaches accounting at Brigham Young University. He is active in Boy Scouting and enjoys bird watching, star study, reading and classical music.
Will Christensen, the American Party candidate, sees big government as the biggest problem facing Utah. "The major problem of our age is the unchecked growth of government at all levels. Our politicians have seen the answer to all problems in the passage of laws and the raising of taxes.
"As government multiplies, power is concentrated in Salt Lake City and Washington, and control over our lives passes to bureaucrats," Christensen said.
Christensen favors removal of the tax on food with government cut back to make up the revenue loss. "What we need to do," he said, "is to get government back on the local level where government is most efficient and most responsive."
The Utah Transit Authority was described by Christensen as the "biggest boondoggle we've had in years."
A surplus in fiscal 1989-90 should cover the loss from the sales tax on food, said Christensen. If more funds are left, then taxes should be cut for the next year.
"I do not favor abortion at all," said Christensen. If a choice must be made between the life of the mother and of the child, Christensen said, it is the family's business to decide. He said, "Abortion is murder."
Christensen would vote to ratify an amendment protecting the American flag.
Christensen is 53 and a semiretired businessman. He is a life member of the National Rifle Association and is active in defending the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. He has been commended by the "Skyhook II Project" for his efforts for prisoners of war and MIAs.
The Independent Party candidate is Ronald Hathcock. "I believe that the ends never justify the means," said Hathcock, "that principles must never be violated for the sake of expediency.
"Individual rights and freedoms must always be protected. I believe those that represent us in government must be individuals of integrity who strive to use reason and fairness in spending revenues."
Growth in government spending is the biggest problem facing the state. Hathcock said, "State spending has grown nearly twice as quickly as inflation and three times as fast as Utahns' average income over the last 10 years. We must review current programs and limit government growth.
"I adamantly support the removal of sales tax from grocery food purchases. This is a most unfair tax, falling more heavily upon those who can least afford it."
Hathcock said, "Three years of surpluses indicate we should lower taxes." The anticipated surplus for 1989-90 should be banked for future needs, he said.
Hathcock said abortion should be legal for life or serious health threat to the mother and for rape and incest when the mental health of the mother is threatened.
Hathcock is 37 and a technical writer at Signetics. He is active on several electronic bulletin boards and has sung with the Utah Valley Choral Society. His political experience includes work with the Republican Party and as county chairman for the Utah County Independent Party.
District 15 comprises much of Orem: generally everything south of 400 North, plus the area west of 900 West as far north as 800 North; and west Provo: with an eastern boundary of Columbia Lane, 500 West and I-15.