The man and woman seeking the Republican vote in the Tuesday primary in the race for Duchesne County Commission have several things in common. Both originally hail from South Dakota. Both have agricultural backgrounds. Each of them believes residents have to put individual community wants aside and come together as a county. And both say they have the time it will take to devote their efforts to the position of full-time county commissioner, if elected.While they stress many of the same political aims for the future of the county, Ted Kappen is a veteran of county politics, while Lorna Stradinger is aspiring to elected office for the first time.
Ted Kappen, who resides in Bluebell, moved to Duchesne County in 1974 to work as division manager of Sears Roebuck. He later started his own trucking and oil-field service companies. The 63-year old Kappen is now retired. Kappen served as Duchesne County commissioner from 1982-86.
He says unification of the county and organized growth are among his priorities. "I want to encourage proper development," he said. "When the Wolf Creek Pass Road is completed in just over a year, Hanna and Tabby will explode. We've got to be prepared to help those people as a county."
Kappen has seen the county's assessed value go from $1.2 billion in 1986 down to $415 million this year, but he still believes the budget could be re-examined and money could be saved.
Kappen, who describes himself as a fiscal conservative, was an outspoken critic of a large pay raise county commissioners gave themselves this year and feels that commissioners should take a cut in salary.
His believes his past government experience in dealing not only at the county level, but at the state and federal levels as well, means he'll be an effective leader immediately if elected.
He is a strong advocate of private property rights and will "vigorously oppose" any legislation that would infringe on those rights, he says. He was instrumental drafting and passing legislation that deregulated the state's trucking industry.
Kappen serves as Chairman of the Upper Country Water Improvement District.
Lorna Stradinger, of Hancock Cove, may come into politics as a complete newcomer, but she says her educational background - she holds a master's degree in political science - will serve her well as an elected official. At the same time, because she hasn't been involved in local politics, she feels her lack of ties to "special interest groups" should ensure voters that she will protect the interests of all.
"I would like to serve this county with the skills I have learned. I come here with no biases and I see unity in this county as ultimately important."
Stradinger says government works best at the local level and is concerned about federal policies that are not advantageous to the middle class.
The biggest issue facing the county, she says, is "growth and development in the 21st century, particularly on the west end." Stradinger's platform calls for the promotion of well-managed growth and development, exploring avenues to bring light manufacturing and industry to the county, capitalizing on the information age for county growth and developing and maintaining irrigation and culinary water.
Stradinger moved with her family to Duchesne County from South Dakota in 1991 when her husband took the job as head wrestling coach at Union High. She teaches political science at the Utah State University branch campus in Vernal and Roosevelt and is a high school career adviser.
The winner of the primary will face Democrat Alma Richins in the general election.