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Democrat Jim Bradley eliminated Craig Oliver in the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention on Saturday and now stands alone against Republican County Commissioner Bart Barker.

Barker faces an intra-party challenge from Henry Hilton in the GOP County Convention June 2, but most believe the 10-year incumbent will ultimately be his party's nominee.Oliver had hoped to get at least 30 percent of the convention vote and thus face Bradley in a Sept. 11 primary. But he could only muster 127 delegate votes of 649 cast - 20 percent.

Democrat Randy Horiuchi had no party opposition in his challenge to GOP County Commissioner Tom Shimizu, and so automatically won nomination Saturday.

Bradley and Horiuchi lead a ticket that Democratic speakers at the convention said is one of the strongest in years.

And recent problems with Salt Palace management - which is overseen by Barker and the all-Republican Commission - were highlighted again and again by convention speakers.

With Horiuchi and Bradley "we will recapture the Salt Lake County Commission this year," Democratic Rep. Wayne Owens told a cheering convention meeting in John F. Kennedy Junior High School.

"We Democrats have fun, don't we?" Owens said smiling. "Can you imagine having to be a Republican in this state, and Norm Bangerter is your shining star?"

Owens, who Republicans have targeted as enemy No. 1 and want to remove this year, said Republicans are either wrong or silent about what he termed the leading issue in Salt Lake County this election year - Nevada's Thousand Springs power plant that could pollute county air.

Both Dan Marriott and Genevieve Atwood want the GOP nomination against Owens, and he challenged them both to step forward and protect Utah jobs and air quality by opposing the plant.

"Our greatest economic resource is our natural environment. While other states pollute and ruin theirs, we must save ours. I've seen a hopeful change. After years of crying in the wilderness (about the environment), I've found it's safe to cry out for wilderness (designated areas)," Owens said.

"Utah politics is greening," he said, with more and more politicians and candidates talking and caring about the environment.

Bradley, Horiuchi and Oliver all criticized Shimizu and Barker for mismanaging the Salt Palace, building the new County Complex - "A Taj Mahal tribute to themselves" - and cutting county programs while giving top aides "unearned" bonuses.

Oliver admitted to delegates that he isn't a member of the Democratic "in" crowd, but asked them not to ignore his dedicated years of service to the party. Bradley told delegates that a primary wouldn't help his race, and asked them to nominate him directly. Two years ago, Bradley came close to unseating GOP Commissioner Mike Stewart.

"Today, my campaign begins against Tom Shimizu, whom many call the `invisible man.' " So invisible that he disappears in times of crisis or hides behind his bureaucrats, former state Democratic Chairman Horiuchi said.

"Well, Tom Shimizu won't be able to hide now because he'll have to deal with me," Horiuchi shouted to the delegates.

Bradley said Barker, who just last week called for the resignation of a top Salt Palace administrator who approved compensatory payments to a fired Salt Palace manager, promised several years ago to clean up the Salt Palace mess. "He hasn't produced. Instead, he said two years ago he wanted to start a part-time business, that he couldn't make it on his $60,000-a-year county salary and had extra time on his hands." Bradley said he'll give Barker plenty of extra time - in retirement.



Convention winners:

Four-year commission seat `A'

Jim Bradley...522 votes, 80%

Craig Oliver...127 votes, 20%

Four-year commission seat `B'

Randy Horiuchi

County attorney

David Yocom

County assessor

Kyle K. Kopitke...403 votes, 62%

Michael D. Callister...246 votes, 38%

(Will face each other in a primary)

County clerk

Sherrie Swensen

County auditor

Harold Black

County recorder

Richard Miller

County sheriff

Pete Hayward

County surveyor

M. Carl Larsen

County treasurer

Art Monson

House District 25

Rep. Joanne Milner...18 votes, 72%

Ralph C. Anderson...7 votes, 18%

B.T. Price...0 votes, 0%

House District 26

Rep. Blaze Wharton...24 votes, 75%

Jean Smith...8 votes, 25%

House District 37

Norman R. Chesler, 7 votes

Michael B. Fletcher, 8 votes

(Will face each other in a primary)

House District 39

Kay Leishman...9 votes, 75%

Don Remington...3 votes, 25%

House District 47

Paul Hiskey...17 votes, 81%

Joseph N. Nemelka Jr....4 votes, 19%

Walter C. Holmes...0 votes, 0%

House District 48

Rep. Arlo D. James...29 votes, 94%

H. Lynn Christensen...2 votes, 6%