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HOUSE MEMBER TO VIE FOR SEAT IN UTAH SENATE

Rep. Dave Adams, R-Monticello, has decided to run for the Utah Senate next year.

Adams will take on Sen. Mike Dmitrich, D-Price, a long-time Democratic House member who was appointed to the Senate in January when former Democratic Sen. Omar Bunnell became ill and resigned his seat.The new Senate district Adams and Dmitrich will run in this year is odd by any measure. It runs from Carbon County, down through San Juan County, along the bottom of the state and into eastern Washington County.

The strange U-shaped district was drawn by the majority Republicans in the Senate as part of the 1992 redistricting required every 10 years after a census.

The district was drawn in such a strange way, senators say privately, because GOP leaders didn't want to place Senate Majority Leader Cary Peterson, R-Nephi, in the same district as Sen. Dixie Leavitt, R-Cedar City. In such a combined district, which made more sense to some, Leavitt would have surely had the upper hand, running in the larger political base of Cedar City.

Instead, Leavitt was put into a district with St. George - not his political back yard. Leavitt was upset over the redistricting, even offering not to run again if Cedar City wasn't combined with St. George. But his GOP colleagues didn't listen to him.

Adams is the House Rules Committee chairman, a powerful, appointed position. The Rules Committee decides which bills will be heard by standing committees, decides if bills will be heard at all. Adams was also majority whip in the House.

He's served in the House for eight years, sitting on the committees of Revenue and Taxation, Social Services, Energy and Natural Resources, and the budget committees of Public Education and Business, Labor and Agriculture.

"I was born and raised in rural Utah," said Adams. "I make my living in rural Utah. I love rural Utah." He said he knows the senators well and has a good working relationship with them. "I can and will be a valuable asset for rural Utah in the state Senate." Adams is married and has five children. He's a self-employed cattleman and serves on the board of the First Western National Bank.