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Two locals seek Bell’s Senate seat
by Tom Busselberg
Aug 11, 2009 | 1395 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Julie Fisher
DAVIS COUNTY — At least two Davis County residents are seeking appointment to outgoing Sen. Greg Bell’s seat – one a standing House of Representatives member and another a former member of that body.

J. Stuart Adams of Layton, who previously served as a member of the House, is seeking to fill the Senate District 22 spot being vacated by Bell, who has been tapped as incoming Gov. Gary Herbert’s lieutenant governor.

Also seeking the spot is current Rep. Julie Fisher of Fruit Heights, who represents House District 17.

“There are some things I would like to do,” said Adams, who served in the House for about four years, from mid-2002 to the end of 2006.

“I have been encouraged by constituents, friends and some current legislators, including some in leadership,” he said. “It seems like good timing for me.

“In my opinion, we’re experiencing some very difficult times, and there’s probably no more critical time to try and be involved in helping the state through some of the challenges we’re experiencing,” Adams said.

“Education funding is going to be critical and how we handle it — and economic development is the key” to generating tax and other state funding, he said.

“Job creation is difficult, and in this type of economy, it has to be dealt with. We have to be sure of the proper role of government to try and stimulate the economy,” Adams said.

He used the example of the mammoth Falcon Hill development on the west side of Hill AFB. He chairs the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA), which is melding private business with the base, cities and two counties to create a facility that could eventually employ 50,000 people.

Adams also is chair of the Utah Transportation Commission, a governor-appointed position he assumed shortly after leaving the Legislature.

He “got his feet wet” as a member of the Layton City Council.

“Having served for nearly five years in the House, I feel it is important for the people of Davis County to maintain the tradition of an independent-minded conservative in Senate District 22,” said Fisher. “Incoming Lt. Gov. Bell and I have worked closely through the years on many areas of importance to Davis County, but there are great challenges ahead.

“If recommended by the delegates, I will serve with the same full-time focus on the concerns of the people of Davis County as I have in my House district,” she said.

Fisher listed her top priorities as economic development, transportation, particularly the western corridor of Legacy North; and public education.

If selected, Fisher will only be the second Republican woman serving in the Utah Senate.

Calling herself a “fiscal and social conservative,” she was the chief sponsor of Open Enrollment for Public Schools, which allows parents to place their children in public schools of their choosing throughout the year, she said in a press release.

“She was the only legislator to stridently oppose, on Constitutional grounds, a deal with Utah to try to bring voting rights to the District of Columbia, a position many others have since come to,” the release said.

“She has also fought to ensure a western corridor for the future Legacy North, particularly to protect against a division of Farmington,” the press release continues.

Fisher serves as co-chair of the Interim Transportation Committee, vice-chair of the Transportation Standing Committee, a member of the Economic Development Committee, and vice-chair of the Labor and Economic Development and Revenue Appropriations sub-committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Fisher received the 2008 Leadership Award from the Davis Chamber of Commerce, was named Representative of the Year in 2006 by Davis County Republican Women, and also chairs the Utah Intergovernmental Roundtable, founded by incoming Gov. Herbert, among other positions.

More than 270 Republican delegates from Senate District 22 will meet Aug. 29 to vote their choice for Bell’s replacement, with 50 percent plus one the determining vote. As many votes as necessary will be taken, said GOP Women’s Chair Shirley Bouwhuis. Candidates can express intention to run up until Aug. 22.
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