Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, formally announced Friday he will seek re-election to his 2nd Congressional District seat.
He emphasized re-election in his speech. For while this was Owens' fifth campaign announcement speech, it is only the first time he's announced for re-election.His first such speech was in 1972, and he won the old 2nd District seat. In 1974 he announced for the U.S. Senate, but was beaten by Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah. In 1984 he announced for governor, but was beaten by Gov. Norm Bangerter. In 1986 he announced for the 2nd District again and that time beat Republican Tom Shimizu.
Keeping his promise made two years ago, Owens said he doesn't want any other office.
Knowing where the Republicans, who hold a 2-1 majority among 2nd District voters, will attack him, Owens then listed how he's represented constituents and how he's been effective in the Democratically controlled U.S. House:
"In my 15 months in office I have made 40 visits home spent about one-third of my time here yet have cast more than 92 percent of all votes in the House.
"The first week in office I helped prevent the urban states from changing the formula for highway trust fund distributions and so protected Utah's share.
"I exposed a federal education fund distribution system that discriminates against Utah students.
"I led the fight to get $3.75 million to finish mass transit plans for the Wasatch Front.
"I helped prevent a nuclear waste repository from being located outside Canyonlands National Park.
"I've fought attempts to make Utah the dumping ground for the destruction of nerve gas weapons, and I think we will be successful.
"Most recently I've led the fight against the Army locating a biological testing facility here. On May 3rd we'll hold historic joint hearing in Washington, D.C., on these matters."
With Garn's help, Owens said he $434 million more for the Central Utah Project, a water development project.
If re-elected, Owens said he would introduce a bill that would create a Wasatch Front national recreation area. "That will provide combined administration, planning and preservation resources to increase the profile and expenditures that will protect and enhance the values of this extraordinary national forest."
He said he plans to introduce a Bureau of Land Management wilderness bill that will ensure 10 percent of federal lands in Utah be turned into wilderness areas.