Democratic congressional candidate Gunn McKay added his name Tuesday to the list of politicians concerned about Army plans to build a germ warfare defense lab at Dugway Proving Ground, which is in his 1st District.
In a statement after he formally filed as a candidate in the lieutenant governor's office, McKay said, "I have grave concerns whether we can build the lab safely in the confines of a populated area."He added that the Army's history of accidentally killing 6,000 sheep in 1968 because of a Dugway accident, and harming or killing thousands of Utahns from open-air nuclear tests causes additional worry. "If you play with fire, sometime you'll get burned. We've been burned enough."
McKay, however, stopped short of all-out opposition to building the lab. He simply said he was concerned about it.
McKay's opponent for the 1st District seat, Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, has said the lab at Dugway is needed for a strong national defense. But he asked the secretary of the Army to delay construction because the "need for this facility has been clouded somewhat by an uninformed public."
Other politicians in the state who are opposing the lab include Gov. Norm Bangerter, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah.
Also at McKay's filing, he said the 1st District needs a candidate who will not call congressional opponents names, but work with them to find solutions to the nation's problems. He also said the 1st District would have more impact if a Democrat were elected, because Democrats are in the majority in Congress.