Ann Smedley - the wife of the late Rep. Stan Smedley - has been appointed to take his place in the Legislature.
Gov. Norm Bangerter announced the appointment Friday, two days after the Davis County Republican Party submitted three names to him for consideration.Smedley, 47, will be part of the next Legislature, which convenes Jan. 14. She will represent District 18, which includes northern Bountiful, northern West Bountiful and most of Centerville.
"In the selection of Ann Smedley, we add the dimension of another woman in the Legislature, and it is my belief that women need more representation in the political process," Bangerter said. "Ann shares her husband's ideals but in her own right will make a strong and meaningful contribution to the state."
Saying she has been overwhelmed by neighbors, friends and legislators who have asked her to serve, Smedley says she will try to pick up where her husband left off.
Stan Smedley, who had just been re-elected to serve what would have been his third term, died of cancer Dec. 1.
"I can't be another Stan but I feel I represent the mainstream Republicans," Smedley said. "I feel I could be beneficial up there to follow through in his goals and values, which I share."
Calling herself a "common, ordinary person," Smedley said she favors a strong educational system, economic development and efficient government.
She favors her husband's idea of rewarding public employees who save the taxpayer money and wants to study ideas to rebuild the Antelope Island causeway and construct a freshwater dike system on the Great Salt Lake to increase tourism in northern Utah.
A native of Richmond, Cache County, Smedley, whose maiden name is Traveller, took some courses at Utah State University before moving to Salt Lake City, where she worked for Mountain Bell. She married Dr. Val Hansen in 1963. They divorced in 1974.
She married Stan Smedley in 1980. Each had three children from their previous marriages. The children range in age from 16 to 26.
Smedley's appointment to her late husband's legislative seat follows political tradition. Christine Fox was appointed by Bangerter in 1987 to fill the House vacancy left by the death of her husband, Merrill C. Fox. Donna Wayment was appointed by the late Gov. Scott M. Matheson to replace her husband, state Sen. Sherman Wayment, who died in June 1981. In 1980, Vivian Jenson and Bobby Florez were appointed by Matheson to the seats vacated in the deaths of their husbands, Sen. Moroni Jenson and Rep. Rey Florez.
"Basically, if the spouse wants it, the spouse gets it," said one political observer.