Now that the Sanpete County Fair is over and school has begun, interest in the Sept. 13 primary election is mounting and the eight candidates vying for three county offices have shifted their campaigns into high gear.
The offices at stake are two-year county commissioner, four-year county commissioner and sheriff. Two Democrats are running for the four-year commission place on the November ballot; two Republicans are vying for the two-year commissioner place, and two Democrats and two Republicans remain in the race for sheriff.
All are the survivors of party caucuses that eliminated a number of other candidates. And they're now going from door-to-door with their brochures, broadcasting their messages through the media and filling store windows with their posters.
The Democratic candidates for the four-year commissioner spot on the November ballot are Amoir Deuel, Mt. Pleasant, and Newton Donaldson, Moroni. The winner in the primary will oppose Robert Bessey, Manti, the Republican candidate, who is unopposed.
Deuel is now completing her second four-year term as Mt. Pleasant's mayor. A partner in Deuel Builders Inc. She lists economic development as a major concern. She's active in numerous organizations: the Six County Economic Development District, the Pride in Utah committee, Utah Small Cities, Inc., Intermountain Consumer Power Association and the Central Utah Development Committee.
As mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Deuel has promoted several projects, among them improved facilities for recreation, city government and industry.
Donaldson served as a Sanpete County commissioner for eight years before being defeated for re-election in 1986. During those years, he was secretary of the Utah Association of Counties for one term, vice president of the association for a term, and then president of the association for a term.
He was deputy Sanpete County treasurer for six years. Active in the turkey industry, he was office manager and controller of Moroni Feed Co. from 1947 to 1979 and then assistant manager for two years.
The Republican candidates for two-year commissioner are Wendell McGarry, Ephriam, and Leonard Blackham, Moroni.
A retired dentist, McGarry is now completing a four-year term on the Sanpete County Commission.
He is chairman of the Utah Parks and Recreation Dept., was chairman of the Sanpete draft board for 20 years and a South Sanpete School District board member for several years. A veteran of World War II and for three years a prisoner of war, McGarry is active in veterans' organizations.
Blackham is one of Sanpete County's major turkey growers, with an operation that produces 120,000 turkeys annually. He's a member of the Governor's Agriculture Advisory Board, a board member of the Utah Manufacturers Association and assistant to the president of Moroni Feed Co.
He was Utah Poultryman of the Year and is active in the Farm Bureau and Scouting.
Either Blackham or McGarry, depending on the outcome of the primary voting, will oppose Ed Painter, Spring City, the Democratic candidate for two-year commissioner, in the general election.
Four veteran law officers are still in the running for Sanpete County sheriff. They want to succeed Sheriff Charles "Chuck" Ramsey, who was appointed to the position about two years ago, but was defeated in his bid for election in the Republican caucus.
The Republican candidates are Wallace Buchanan, Manti, and Jerry R. Jorgensen, Gunnison.
Jorgensen is a Sanpete County deputy sheriff who previously was a member of the Gunnison City Police Department for nine years, three of them as chief. He's a graduate of Utah's Police Academy and has had over 1,200 hours of specialized training in various elements of law enforcement.
Buchanan has been with the Sanpete Sheriff's Dept. for 16 years, seven of them as chief deputy and two as under sheriff. He was also Sanpete's Emergency Services director during the flood years.
Buchanan was a member of the Utah National Guard until his retirement with the rank of captain. During that service he was commander of the Mt. Pleasant unit for seven years.
The Democratic candidates for sheriff who will face off in the primary election are Jim Cheney, Fairview, and Kay Larsen, Mt. Pleasant.
Larsen, a Sanpete County deputy sheriff, was previously Moroni City police chief for four years. A graduate of the police academy, he has also attended the Correctional School at the Utah State Prison.
Cheney has been Fairview city marshal for four years and has also been that city's emergency services manager for nine years. He's a Utah Police Academy graduate who has also attended Utah Valley Technical College.