Two write-in candidates have injected new life into two Carbon County Commission races after two Democrats eliminated the competition in the primaries.
Emma Kuy-kendall, who appeared to have won the 4-year commission post in the primary, and Lynda Critchlow Varner, who won the nod of voters for the 2-year commission seat, had seemed well on their way to making history as the first women county commissioners in Carbon County.But soon after the primary, J.R. "Bob" Olson announced he would be a write-in candidate for the 2-year commission seat. He said he had been narrowly defeated and the voting had been light. He did not think the will of the voters had accurately been represented.
Olson got 1,679 votes to Varner's 1,869. There are 10,351 registered voters in the county.
He resumed the campaign he had dropped shortly before the primary.
With only three weeks remaining before the election, Gary Rich, mayor of Wellington, announced he would be a write-in candidate for 4-year commissioner.
Olson and Rich have teamed together for some of their campaign ads, gone door-to-door together, and worked together to mail stickers with their names to all the registered voters in the county. The stickers, a separate one for each candidate, can be placed either on the ballot or preferably on the ballot envelope.
They also have plans to provide the stickers at the polls, although they or their representatives will be required to remain at least 150 feet from the polls.
County Clerk Norman Prichard said he asked that the stickers be removable so they will not mutilate the ballot if placed on it. Prichard said it will be necessary for the ballot counters to put corresponding numbers on ballots and ballot envelopes where there is a write-in vote to make sure the two can be matched.
A write-in vote can also be cast in handwriting if the voter indicates the office as well as the name of the candidate.
Rich, who has served six years as mayor of Wellington, said he wants to unify the county, improve its image and work for industrial development.
In making his announcement of candidacy, he said it is his dream to have enough jobs here for young people. Many of those who have moved away would return if there were jobs for them, he said.
Kuykendall, a retired Utah Department of Transportation employee, said she is able and willing to devote her full time to the county. She said she would run county affairs in an organized and businesslike manner.
Her past experiences in supervision, time management and budgeting would stand her in good stead in the commission job, she said. She has spent a great deal of time meeting with groups and in attending civic functions.
Varner said she has concentrated her efforts, since the primary, in talking with individuals and small groups of people. She said she is interested in working for economic development and good law enforcement, fire protection and water and sewer services. She said it is important that the unincorporated areas in the county are as well represented as the cities.
Her slogan for the second half of her campaign has been, "What is worth doing, is worth doing twice." She has asked people to vote for her the second time. "If elected, I will make sure every person is heard, no matter where they live," she said.
Olson said he has cut the expenses of the surveyor's office and would combine the duties of surveyor and commissioner if elected. He is midway through his first term as county surveyor.
Olson said he would perform the duties of both commissioner and surveyor and would work to have the two jobs officially combined. He said he cut the expenses of the surveyor's office reducing personnel and the number of vehicles.