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GOP PRIMARY CAMPAIGN AMIABLE - AND HARD-FOUGHT

SHARE GOP PRIMARY CAMPAIGN AMIABLE - AND HARD-FOUGHT

The results of the Republican primary in south Davis County's House District 20 will depend to a large extent on how voters define themselves.

"The reason I was elected is, contrary to what some others might think, I represent the general mood of the district. It is fairly heavily a traditional Republican district," said Rep. Charles "Ted" Bradford of Bountiful."The reason I'm running is that as I've spent some time up on the Hill, looking at the Legislature, I've become convinced that a significant number of those people are ultraconservative," said Bradford's challenger, Richard M. Siddoway. "I think the moderate majority needs a voice.

"I think we've reached a point where a very small, well-organized group of people are kind of the tail wagging the dog. Certainly I'm conservative, but I'm a moderate conservative."

Bradford said labels make him uncomfortable. "I don't know what moderate is. Does that mean anyone who doesn't agree is not moderate? And I don't know what `ultraconservative' is, either."

Labeling aside, the race may be one of the most amiable - and hard-fought - in the state. Bradford and Siddoway acknowledge great respect - even liking - for each other. But they're both putting in long hours campaigning.

And they're not too far apart on some of the issues they define as major.

Siddoway, for instance, would like to see the welfare system privatized, or at least have the idea explored.

"There's not much incentiveto get people off the welfare rolls," he said. "If they do, they lose jobs. So what if we paid some organization for every (welfare) payment they got off the rolls. And they would lose that payment if there's recidivism. For those unemployed people who don't have job skills, let's put them in a job that pays a livable wage. If we were to educate people, retrain and retool, I think everyone wins."

"I think privatizing welfare is wonderful," said Bradford, "But basically you're talking in the abstract, rather than doing with things as they are.

"There's enough natural charity in people that they would want to help the less fortunate. I think there are studies that show needy people do get cared for better on the basis of voluntary charity than on the basis of forced government. I think we need to get the federal government out of the business. It's a state, not federal, function at most."

Bradford describes the welfare system as one in which people send the federal government money, it wastes 40 percent to 60 percent, then sends it back with instructions on what to do with it.

Both candidates believe growth is Utah's particular challenge. And both believe Utah needs to become proactive in dealing with growth, by planning and then doing. Bradford would give voters a chance to approve any plan developed to cope with growth.

Siddoway said he'd like to see some planning and doing begin soon. "The ultraconservative position is that if we ignore growth and the related things that are happening, they'll go away. We need to do some strategic planning and looking ahead."

All issues, in his view, are related to growth, from education to the burgeoning of gangs. Siddoway worries about transportation, highways and infrastructure, education and the crime rate.

So does Bradford. "Something must be done, particularly in the area of transportation and crime, or we're going to be in deep trouble."

But they don't agree on everything. Siddoway, a longtime educator who now directs the state's Electronic High School, supports capital equalization for school funding.

Bradford, a retired attorney and former juvenile court judge, voted against it. "I'm not sure there shouldn't be some areas of competition between districts. Competition means progress. It doesn't mean we should have some kids schooled like royalty and others going almost without, but that's not likely to happen anyway in our state.

Siddoway is also a strong proponent of class-size reduction. He said that people must learn to read or they'll be "condemned to a lifetime of failure."

Bradford wants parents to become full partners in the education of their children.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

District 20: Utah House of RepresentativeS