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I am going to vote for Stewart Hanson for governor of Utah, and here is just one of the reasons.

In the past eight years, in fact ever since Gov. Matheson left office, Utah state employees have gone backward in their fight for equality with private business. Matheson held state employees in high regard, valuing them for their diligence and loyalty. They made significant gains during his eight years in office.In the past eight years, everything gained was lost. Our medical benefits declined; we lost ground year after year with the cost of living. Several years, there was no wage increase at all, and at no time did any wage increase equal or come close to the actual cost of existing. We lost our merit increases as well.

Gov. Bangerter made no bones about doubting that state employees were worth much. He certainly never advocated to the Legislature that this issue needed any special attention, nor did I ever hear a plea from him to the Legislature to fund an adequate wage.

The Republican Legislature and the governor place this issue on the agenda as the very last item to be considered on the very last night of the session, and then only if they can squeeze some money from one of their other programs.

In talking with co-workers, I find we are all sick of being beggars. Isn't it time we had a Democratic governor, one who believes, as did Matheson, that state employees were worth every penny they earned?

I doubt Michael Leavitt will place state employees on his agenda. He has never had to worry about meeting the expenses of living from day to day. In the meantime, Stewart Hanson, as a Democratic candidate, a candidate for the people, is paying attention to this vital issue. A vote for Hanson is a vote for a return to dignity for all state employees.

Theda M. McHugh