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HOUSE DISTRICTS 40-46: CANDIDATES PURSUE 31 SEATS IN S.L. COUNTY - 18 HELD BY GOP

SHARE HOUSE DISTRICTS 40-46: CANDIDATES PURSUE 31 SEATS IN S.L. COUNTY - 18 HELD BY GOP

HOUSE DISTRICT 40

Incumbent Rep. J. Reese Hunter is not seeking re-election - leaving the task to either Democrat Newel Standley or his Republican opponent, Richard L. Walsh.

The pair share beliefs in some areas. Both count education among the race's top issues and favor-full disclosure of lobbyist gifts to lawmakers.

House District 40 includes northeast Murray, generally north of Little Cottonwood Creek and east of 300 East; southeast Murray, generally south of 5900 South and east of 400 East; west Cottonwood, west of 1300 West; northwest Holladay, north to 4500 South, east to about 2100 East and south to Kings Row Drive and 4800 South; and north Union, north of Fort Union Boulevard, east of about 500 East and west of about 1600 East.

Newel Standley

Age: 60

Address: 5946 S. 620 East, Murray.

Occupation: Retired schoolteacher.

Experience: Former president and board member of the Granite Education Association, several teacher committees and education lobbyist.

Personal: Wife, Joyce, four children and 13 grandchildren.

Major issues: Education ("We must continue to fund public education at a level that will continue the current results, looking for improvement all the time"); public safety ("We must maintain our ability to catch, prosecute and punish those who would harm citizens"); and planning ("Considerable time and money has gone into getting information about future developments, it is time to start doing something").

Do you support/oppose state funds for light-rail construction? "If the state gets involved in light-rail funding then the state should be able to give direction to light-rail policy. The decision to favor or oppose funding would depend on how much discretion is obtained by the Legislature."

Why are you better qualified than your opponent? "It is the people who decide which candidate is better qualified. I have been working for the public good more than 30 years, solving problems, designing programs, keeping track of who has earned what and working with the public at a personal level."

Would you ever vote for increases in sales, state income, property or fuel taxes? "No" on sales and state income - "perhaps" on others, saying "we are talking about shifting taxes, in each case it must be decided what changes would be most fair."

Richard L. Walsh

Age: 44

Address: 6784 S. 1300 East, Union.

Occupation: Teacher

Experience: Chairman, committee to incorporate Union (1992-94); member, Legis-la-tive Task Force to Revise Incorporation Laws for the State of Utah.

Personal: Single

Three major issues facing state government: Growth ("Rising crime, traffic congestion, air pollution, etc., will be the result of uncontrolled growth. I believe we must act now . . . to protect our way of life"); education ("We must find ways to help all sources of education") and growth of government ("government must be smaller, better and closer to home").

Do you support/oppose state funds for light-rail construction? "Light rail is but one option for a mass transit system. I would personally prefer a faster system which does not tie up the east/west traffic corridors. I am undecided as to whether or not I would vote for state funds for light rail."

Why are you better qualified than your opponent? "I believe I have more experience in working with the Legislature and in community affairs."

Would you ever vote for increases in sales, state income, property or fuel taxes? "I believe that taxes should only be increased as a last resort for a very pressing need and those who use services, etc., should bear the greatest burden in paying for them."

HOUSE DISTRICT 41

Tax issues best illustrate differences between Rep. Darlene Gubler and the woman who has challenged her seat in House District 41.

On Nov. 5, voters will choose between Gubler, a Republican finishing her first term in the House, and Democrat Patrice Arent. Arent, long involved in local law and legislative issues, has campaigned aggressively in the Holladay-area district.

Gubler says she will not vote for increases in sales, state income or property taxes. Given Utah's robust economy, Arent can't think of a reason why lawmakers would have to raise these taxes, but "never" is a long time, she said in a survey submitted to the Deseret News.

Gubler and Arent mostly agree on issues. Both say the Legislature should finish the huge expansion and renovation of Interstate 15 and both agree a combination package of gasoline tax increases and bonding may be the way to fund the project.

Both are concerned about the number of residents on fixed incomes.

Gubler and Arent say few neighborhood issues are specific to House District 41. For example, the beleaguered township law, of great concern to those involved in three separate Holladay-area township efforts, has an impact on all county residents.

Darlene Gubler

Age: 62

Address: 2558 Flamingo Drive, Salt Lake City

Occupation: Director, Faculty and Staff Development, Salt Lake Community College

Personal: Married; six children

Experience: House of Representatives, one term; Citizen's Council for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Utah Strategic Planning for Education; teacher, administrator.

What are the three top issues facing Utah state government and how would you deal with them? Crime; more effort on gangs, stiffer penalties. Education; continue class-size reduction, target highly impacted schools. Taxation/transportation; assist people on fixed incomes, re-examine the tax structure.

What do you think about the Governor's Legacy Transportation Project? Supports long-term planning, but says there has to be a way to compensate landowners for the loss of wetlands and farmland.

Additional comments: Gubler is a pro-life candidate but won't discuss whether Utah's anti-abortion laws should be more restrictive. "It depends on the breadth of the bill," she said. "What I don't want to do is take any discriminating action that could make people lose their civil rights."

Patrice Arent

Age: 40

Address: 6281 S. Havenbrook Circle, Salt Lake City

Occupation: Attorney; currently at home raising children

Personal: Married; two children

Experience: Held top positions in the Legislative Relations, Fair Business Enforcement divisions of Utah Attorney General's office; Associate General Coun-sel, state Legislature; private legal practice; substitute teacher.

What are the three top issues facing Utah state government and how would you deal with them? Quality education; more money for class-size reduction, better learning materials and creative ways to reward teachers. Rising juvenile crime; more detention beds, stop the criminal "revolving door." Growth/preserving Utah's quality of life; address open space, infrastructure, clean air and water with planning.

What do you think about the Governor's Legacy Transportation Project?

With so little information available, an endorsement is premature.

Additional comment: Utah has some of the weakest campaign finance and disclosure laws in the nation. "We need strict limitations on gifts to candidates and legislators to insure their accountability to the public."

HOUSE DISTRICT 42

While the incumbent representative faces a criminal charge for firing a warning shot from a handgun earlier this month, public safety, crime and gun control ironically head the list of issues all three candidates agree on.

Republican incumbent David Bresnahan is charged with a class B misdemeanor count of unlawfully discharging a firearm after pulling a gun from his car's glove box, chasing a man who fled the scene of an accident and firing into a canal after telling the man to stop on Oct. 4.

Democratic challenger Perry Buckner called the GOP representative's actions "reckless" and said the legislator shouldn't be carrying a concealed weapon if he can't use it correctly. Bresnahan claims what he did was lawful.

Buckner and third-party Libertarian Curt James are first-time legislative candidates. All three candidates said they strongly oppose tax money to fund light rail. Bresnahan and James said they wouldn't vote for any kind of tax increase and both support school "voucher" systems.

District 42 includes most West Jordan areas north of about 8800 South and west of about 3800 West, plus an area extending east to 2700 West between 7420 South and about 8500 South; southwest Kearns and Oquirrh community areas generally south of 5600 South and west of 4800 West, plus an area extending north to 5400 South between 5600 West and Copper City Drive.

David Bresnahan

Address: 7648 S. Thomas Circle, West Jordan

Age: 42

Occupation: Radio talk show host, insurance and mortgage service

Experience: Elected November 1994, Utah House of Representatives, candidate 1992; many years of volunteer community service on various boards and committees.

Personal: Five-year West Jordan resident, wife Rona, four children.

Key Issues: Roads and water. "We need to hold overall budget growth to 5 percent and dedicate all other funds from revenue growth to roads and water," he said. "This will pay what we need and keep government from growing."

Bresnahan said affordable housing is another major concern for legislators as well as crime. "We need more prison space and juvenile justice reform."

A proponent for carrying concealed weapons, Bresnahan said if re-elected he will introduce a bill clarifying the apparent confusion between concealed-weapons permits and state laws barring guns from schools. "It will permit a private property owner to do as they wish - which our law already permits."

The conservative legislator also said he would support tougher anti-abortion laws. He would vote against campaign-finance reform for legislative and state candidates that could include limits on the amount of money candidates receive.

Why should constituents vote for you? "People should judge me on my record. They know where I stand and they know I'll fight for what's right."

Perry Buckner

Address: 4901 W. Aspen Park Drive, West Jordan

Age: 37

Occupation: Deputy sheriff, Salt Lake County

Experience: More than a year on the state advisory board for Best Buddies; 16 years in law enforcement with the sheriff's office.

Personal: Nine-year West Jordan resident, wife Deanna, three children.

Key Issues: Buckner listed public safety as the No. 1 issue the Legislature should look at. "The juvenile justice system is in dire need of reform. I would propose earlier incarceration for violent criminals. Sentencing guidelines currently proposed before the Juvenile Justice Task Force, if implemented, will assist in this area."

Education was next on his list. "After having worked in the vice and narcotics units, I am convinced that a major component in our struggle against drugs and violence must be in education."

Government reform was another major issue Buckner said should be addressed.

Why should constituents vote for you? "I believe that my 16 years of law enforcement experience gives the voters of District 42 a unique opportunity to obtain credible, rational, responsible, front-line experienced representation. I am a moderate person who believes in doing the right things for the right reasons."

Curt James

Address: 8400 S. 4000 West #90, West Jordan

Age: 43

Occupation: Satellite television salesman

Personal: Four-year West Jordan resident, single

Key Issues: Growth is James' prime concern, stating he would "actively seek to discourage continued popu-la-tion influx into Utah." He said he opposes transportation projects unless they are self supporting, such as toll roads.

James is very vocal about the state regulating the use of firearms, calling the concealed-weapons permit "a back door form of gun registration."

Why should constituents vote for you? "Because I actually have a coherent and consistent philosophy on the legitimate role of government. My opponents are pragmatic politicians."

HOUSE DISTRICT 43

A West Jordan city official and a field engineer for Eastman Kodak will go up against each other in one of only two open House districts in southwest Salt Lake Valley.

The seat has been held by Rep. Kelly Atkinson, D-West Jordan, who ran unsuccessfully this year for Congress.

Wayne A. Harper, a former city councilman and current economic developer, is trying for a second elective office. This is the first time Mark R. Myers has run for office, but he was PTA Legislative chairman during 1994-96 and was a volunteer on Capitol hill as well.

Both first-time House seekers oppose the idea of state funds earmarked for light rail, and both agree that the Legislature should keep the ban on same-sex marriages and refuse to recognize same-sex marriages in other states.

District 43 includes West Jordan north of 7000 South; West Jordan areas north of about 7400 South between 3200 West and 1100 West; all Taylorsville areas south of 6200 South; and Taylorsville areas south of 5400 South and east of Redwood Road.

Wayne A. Harper

Address: 6683 Nottingham Drive, West Jordan

Age: 40

Occupation: Community development director, West Jordan City

Experience: Served one term (four years) on the West Jordan City Council; PTA legislative vice president on school and council level for the Granite School District.

Personal/family: Eight-year West Jordan resident, wife KaLee, eight children.

Key issues: Harper said the most pressing need facing state government involves transportation. "Deterioration of roads must be repaired and new roads, such as the Legacy Project and Bangerter Highway must be prioritized and funded," by way of bonding and other fiscal options.

Crime is second on his list, stating he would ensure judges impose sentences on first-time offenders and would support hiring more police officers and the organization of additional neighborhood watch programs.

His third key issue is education, and he said with present increases toward education from the Legislature, he would support reducing class sizes and making sure all children have textbooks.

Regarding a possible vote to increase sales, state income, property or gasoline taxes, Harper said "you can't say `never,' however, I have no plans to vote for a tax increase."

Why should constituents vote for you? "I am experienced in the legislative process, have served as an elected city councilman, I am dedicated and I listen to and act on the requests and issues of the residents."

Mark R. Myers

Address: 3228 W. Trifford Place

Age: 37

Occupation: Field engineer, Eastman Kodak

Experience: Veteran, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division; Utah National Guard 19th Special Forces.

Personal: 12-year Taylorsville resident, wife Carol, four children (two foster children).

Key issues: Crime, transportation and growth are the three main concerns Myers said state government should be aware of. Speaking about crime, Myers said there should be stronger sentences, and for youth offenders, "some type of boot camp system with family involvement" should be implemented.

Responding to a question about gun control in public schools, Myers said he favored school districts deciding if guns should be barred from secondary buildings, but state "colleges should have the opportunity to carry their weapons, if they pass the concealed weapons training course."

Myers also said he would not vote for an increase in sales and state income taxes but might vote for property tax increase that supports schools. He said he would vote for an increase in the gasoline tax, if necessary. "We have a $500 million surplus, and we should not be talking about a tax increase. I would only increase taxes as a final resort."

Why should constituents vote for you? "As a neighborhood activist, I have worked with UDOT and landowners to help solve problems that came with the Bangerter Highway. Every project I've been involved with has been as a volunteer, never receiving any compensation. I have no ties to any government entities, and the vote I cast will be for the people of Utah and District 43."

HOUSE DISTRICT 44

An instructor at Salt Lake Community College hopes she can unseat two-term Utah legislator Robert Killpack in the House District 44 race.

District 44 includes most Murray areas west of about 400 East, plus an area extending east to 900 East between Little Cottonwood Creek and 5900 South; Midvale north of Center Street and west of State Street; a corner of Union, north of 6850 South and west of 300 East. The northern boundary of the district is 4800 South.

Both Killpack, a Republican, and challenger Rebby Diehl, a Democrat, feel the Legislature should support the attorney general in her lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Both support current bans on same-sex marriages. From that point of agreement, the two differ on many issues.

Diehl favors making Utah's abortion laws less restrictive; Killpack has been a proponent of tough abortion restrictions. Both support the death penalty, but Diehl would remove the firing squad as an option. Diehl opposes school vouchers; Killpack said they "might become necessary if the education system starts pushing values that some parents do not agree with."

Robert Killpack

Age: 67

Address: 5860 Kingston Way, Murray.

Occupation: Retired dentist.

Personal: wife, Dorothy Gregory; four children.

Experience: Utah House member since 1992.

What are the major issues facing Utah? Crime, transportation and the power of the federal government.

Do you support Gov. Mike Leavitt's proposal to build a Western Transportation Corridor? "Yes. We need more north-south corridors. We also need east-west corridors."

Do you favor using state funds for the light rail project? "As far as I can tell, state funds will not be necessary."

Should the state restrict handguns from churches, schools, private businesses and local governments? He believes such entities can restrict guns now. "Law abiding citizens will honor the ban. Non-law abiding citizens will not."

Why are you better qualified than your opponent? Killpack said he is better qualified because of his previous experience in the Legislature, city and community. He said circumstances might dictate that he change his mind on some issues based upon what he believes to be best for the community or what he sees to be the truth.

Rebby D. Diehl

Age: 42

Address: 956 Bryanston Cove, Murray.

Occupation: Instructor, project manager, manager at Salt Lake Community College.

Personal: husband, Raymon; two children.

Experience: Member of Walden Ridge Patrons' Action Committee, School Fees Task Force, Murray Neighborhood Action Coalition, Murray Community Crime Council Healthy Community Committee and others.

What are the major issues facing Utah? "Continued future growth, youth crime and education."

Do you support Gov. Mike Leavitt's proposal to build a Western Transportation Corridor? She said the proposal is a good one in theory, but she needs more details.

Do you favor using state funds for the light rail project? "UTA has stated repeatedly that no tax money would be necessary for the construction of light rail. Consequently, I say let the state allow UTA to make good on its promise and no tax money through state funds be allocated for light rail."

Should the state restrict handguns from churches, schools, private businesses and local governments? "Any private owner should have the right to prohibit weapons from being carried or worn on his/her premises."

Why are you better qualified than your opponent? "I am dedicated to looking at issues, concerns and legislation from a long-term perspective. We must prepare for our future by realizing that Utah is a highly urban society with the subsequent social ills that accompany this type of growth and development."

HOUSE DISTRICT 45

Don't expect to see much campaigning from Republican Mel Brown.

He's running unopposed for his sixth term as the representative for House District 45, which includes most of Union and north-central Sandy.

He believes current disclosure laws on legislators' conflicts of interests are sufficient. Brown opposes limits on the amount of money candidates can receive from interest groups and businesses.

The boundaries of House District 45 include Union and other unincorporated areas east of State Street, west of Highland Drive, south of 7200 South (Fort Union Boulevard), north of Sandy plus an area north to Greenfield Way and Meadow Downs Way. It also includes Sandy areas generally west of 1300 East and north of about 8500 South; Midvale areas east of State Street and north of 7800 South, and an area north to 6400 South between 300 East and 700 East.

Melvin R. Brown

Age: 58

Address: 165 E. 7430 South

Occupation: Dairy farmer

Personal: Wife Jolene, four children, 11 grandchildren.

Experience: Served in Legislature since 1986 and is the House speaker. Two terms as chairman of the Human Services Standing Committee and one term as assistant majority whip.

Major issues facing Utah: Transportation funding, tax policy relating to counties and cities and funding for education and corrections.

How to pay for I-15: Gov. Mike Leavitt and the Legislature have already committed to paying for transportation and water improvements. Tax increases should be considered only after exploring available revenues and every other option.

Western Transportation Corridor: Brown supports the project, which is has broad support.

Light-rail funding: The state has never been involved in funding the project, and Brown opposes using state money.

Grab bag: Brown believes the current anti-abortion law is sufficient. He supports the death penalty law and the ban on same-sex marriages. He agrees the state should start a voucher system that lets parents decide where to spend their education tax dollars. He opposes suing tobacco companies to recoup tax money spent on smoking-related illnesses.

HOUSE DISRICT 46

The candidates running for House District 46 aren't afraid of the "T" word. Two of the three say some taxes may need to be increased.

Republican Brian R. Allen, the incumbent, said he might vote to increase sales and fuel taxes. Democrat Gary M. Pratt is open to increasing the fuel tax and the portion of the property tax that supports education.

The two candidates are keeping taxing options open, given the massive amounts of money needed to fund reconstruction of I-15.

Libertarian Alan Hepner opposes any tax increases.

The district's boundaries are parts of Cottonwood Heights east of Highland Drive between Fort Union Boulevard and Little Cottonwood Creek, east of about 1300 East near Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, including Granite and Top of the World; Sandy and adjacent areas west to about 2500 East, generally between 9600 South and 9800 South; Alta and Brighton.

Brian R. Allen

Age: 39

Address: 7386 S. Banbury Circle

Occupation: Insurance company executive

Personal: Wife Velene, four children

Experience: One term in the Legislature

Major issues facing Utah: Allen thinks the top issues are transportation, welfare reform and juvenile crime.

He wants the state to pursue the design/ build concept for I-15 that reduces construction time.

On welfare reform, he says the state must continue to consolidate and streamline programs under the Workforce Service Department that promote self sufficiency.

To clamp down on juvenile crime, Utah needs to pursue programs that lead to earlier and more substantive intervention.

How to pay for I-15: The Legislature should commit money to start and finish I-15. Allen favors a combination of revenue sources to pay for the project: Skim some money from new revenue growth, limit growth in budgets of other agencies and increase the sales tax by one-half to three-quarters of a percent.

Allen also believes bonding will be necessary, but that it should be limited. He opposes indexing because it sets up automatic tax increases with no accountability.

Western Transportation Corridor: Allen believes the corridor is needed. He is unsure whether the Legislature should commit to the project and is undecided about how to pay for it.

Funding for light rail: He would not oppose putting money into a "sensible plan" but UTA must demonstrate that light rail is part of an overall transportation system.

Grab bag: Allen favors a more stringent anti-abortion law provided the state has a reasonable chance of winning if the law is challenged in court. He supports the current death-penalty law and a ban on same-sex marriages.

Gary M. Pratt

Age: 58

Address: 8650 Russell Park Road

Occupation: Accountant

Personal: Wife Christeen, four children, nine grandchildren.

Experience: Former Salt Lake County treasurer (two years) and chief deputy Salt Lake County treasurer (eight years).

Major issues facing Utah: In a word: growth. It's the root cause of many issues Pratt pinpoints as needing attention. First, he advocates responsible control of growth, such as limits on building in high-impact areas. He favors aggressive, responsible protection of natural resources, including protecting wilderness for the future.

He also wants parents of troubled juveniles to be held more accountable for their children.

How to pay for I-15: He'd do it with a flat percentage increase in the gas tax, with a sunset date on the tax that coincides with repayment of the project. He believes bonding is a responsible way to address road construction needs.

Western Transportation Corridor: Opposed. He says it's "too much, too loose" and there is "too little" to gain. He favors an express lane on I-15 to handle the traffic from Davis and Weber counties.

Funding for light rail: He does not support the current light-rail proposal, which Pratt says doesn't address east-west traffic flow problems. If that issue is addressed, he'd support some state funding.

Grab bag: He opposes tougher anti-abortion laws and the death-penalty law. He opposes the ban on same-sex marriages.

Alan Hepner

Age: 39

Address: Star Route, Brighton

Occupation: Engineer

Major issues facing Utah: Crime, overdevelopment and education. Crime prevention begins in the home. Hepner believes Utah needs to emphasize and encourage strong family values and a strong work ethic.

He wants Utah's resources developed without harming the beauty of the state for future generations. He also wants parents to have more flexibility in deciding how to educate their children, provided the options meet state guidelines.

How to pay for I-15: Long-term bonding. The Legislature should not commit to finishing the project until funding is in hand.

Western Transportation Corridor: Hepner, unfamiliar with the project, has no comment.

Funding for light rail: No state funds. Use private funds.

Grab bag: He opposes a tougher anti-abortion law, supports the current death penalty law, and favors the ban on same-sex marriages.