Utah County Republicans formally kicked off their campaign this week at the grand opening of the Republican headquarters in Provo.

Three candidates for re-election, Gov. Norm Bangerter, Lt. Gov. Val Oveson and Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, were at the celebration to address the crowd of Republicans. Campaign representatives for George Bush, Dan Quayle and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also were in attendance."The issues are very important this year, and I think it's important to go from the top on down and vote straight Republican," Nielson said.

Steve Shallenberger, Utah County Republican chairman, told Nielson that the valley's Republicans will do everything they can to return the congressman for a fourth term.

Nielson said: "I'm proud of my record. I've been criticized for being too conservative fiscally, but I'm proud of that."

Bangerter also said he is proud of his conservative record. "I've had a responsible record. and it's posed to move forward. We are moving forward."

He said the independent candidate for governor tells Utahns they can have everything on a smaller budget and the other party's candidate tells Utahns they can have everything they have and more with the same budget.

"I'm running against two wonderful miracle workers," he said. "One thing I can do that they can't do is tell you the truth."

Oveson said: "This is the county that will give us the margin of victory we need. That was the case four years ago, and it will be again."

Shallenberger agreed. "If we get Republicans out to vote, we will win the election and win it big - especially in Utah County. Let's go out and have some fun in the next seven weeks. This is a great state with a great past, and we are just getting started."

Ron Tiffany, Utah County chairman for the Bush campaign, said: "We are pleased with the support we have received, but we cannot negate the importance of an organization like this. If we fail to elect Bush as president we will not only have done the country a disservice, but ourselves. We need to identify the opposition for what they are."

Rob Glazier, assistant campaign manager for Hatch, said that Republicans, by getting out and voting, can carry the ticket from top to bottom throughout the country and Utah.

The Republican headquarters, at 235 N. University Ave., is the official headquarters for Nielson's and Hatch's re-election committees, the local office for the Bush for President campaign and Bangerter's Utah County campaign office.

The Republican platform, banners, bumper stickers and literature on candidates is available at the headquarters.