Jim Bradley hopes voters understand the significance of his using the lawn at Olympus Junior High to announce his candidacy for the four-year Salt Lake County Commission seat.
The lawn is directly across from an office building he says symbolizes the way a Republican majority has run county government in recent years. The building is empty. Its construction caused an uproar among residents of the unincorporated Holladay area years ago."People felt they weren't involved in that process," Bradley, a Democrat, said while preparing to announce his candidacy Tuesday afternoon. "It (the building) symbolizes a lot of what I feel is wrong about Salt Lake County. It symbolizes bad planning and zoning decisions."
Bradley, a former county employee who served as energy director for former Gov. Scott M. Matheson, is challenging Republican Mike Stewart. Stewart is seeking his third four-year term as commissioner.
Bradley feels Stewart has been a caretaker rather than a leader. He cited a recent Deseret News/KSL-TV opinion poll that showed a majority of county residents don't know whether Stewart is doing a good job.
"Stewart explained the poll by saying he was part of the invisible government," Bradley said. "I think it's more like invisible leadership."
Bradley feels it is time Democrats were given a chance to control county government. His campaign will be closely tied to that of Commissioner Dave Watson, a Democrat seeking a second two-year term.
He said his campaign will emphasize the need to promote economic development within the county. Instead of making efforts to attract business into the state from elsewhere, local businesses should take better advantage of the work force within the state, he said.
The Wasatch Front is a transportation and telephone center with a large number of people who speak two or more languages. Government should take advantage of this by encouraging local entrepreneurs to start international corporations that use computers to conduct business, he said.
"We need to look at the county as being unique and different from the state," Bradley said. "I come in with an agenda and with promises. If I don't fulfill them, the voters can throw me out.
"The Republicans have not had a plan, and they don't have one to date."
Bradley admits it may be difficult to attract attention during a year when several larger races will dominate headlines.
"Money will be tight," he said. "There are a lot of other races around. If I can go on TV, I will."