Jason Chaffetz's laughter over the chance of Utah Democrats succeeding in his district is very troubling to me. Recently, another incumbent GOP state representative boasted to a new Democratic challenger that he did not intend to even start campaigning until Nov. 1.

As one of the 55 percent of Utah's voters who are identified as independent, this causes serious concern to me. Because the Utah GOP allows only party members to vote in the primary, we independents have no vote there. As Don Gale (July 5) puts it, the "dominant party" exerts such autonomy in state elections that GOP candidates can with unabashed smugness laugh at the thought that the general election process will yield other than what a few hundred Republicans have already determined in a closed primary.

A balance of representation in state and federal government is good. The crop of new candidates this year represents people of integrity and moderate political viewpoints — our neighbors who share our hearts and wish to represent those positions in government debates.

Marcus A. Vincent