LAYTON — A west Layton man running for the District 15 seat in the Utah House of Representatives, is calling on residents to become more involved in politics.
Jory Francis will face Brad Wilson in the June 22 primary election.
Businessman Francis said he believes a lack of voter engagement is allowing the government to drift to the left and allowing special interests to hijack the government, while common citizens have lost their voice.
He said the Founding Fathers knew that the solution to good government is participation. “If we are to leave a rich heritage for our children, we must reengage in our government,” Francis said. “The people must express and expect their will be done. This is how I’m fighting to restore the influence in our government back to the people.”
Francis serves as president of Yusef Laboratories. He founded the company in 2003 with partners Fielding Smith, Stephen Lundberg, Tym Gilson and Lloyd Parkinson. The company, which manufactures and sells personal care items, is located in Clearfield’s West Freeport Center.
As a candidate, Francis said he has not solicited, nor accepted money from another politician, political action committee, lobbyists or special interest group. “Independent of these groups, I can be your representative, not theirs,” he said.
He also said he has not solicited nor accepted an endorsement from any of the above groups.
He said that as a businessman he will apply his understanding of building a business from the ground up to maximize efficiencies in government.
Francis serves on the Davis Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee and on the Davis Economic Advisory Council. He said lessons learned from serving with such organizations will enable him to apply his understanding of the issues to improve the county’s economic climate.
He also said he will hold entities like Utah Transit Authority and UTOPIA accountable.
District 15: Brad Wilson
KAYSVILLE — Businessman Brad Wilson is running for the District 15 Republican nomination for the Utah State House in Tuesday’s primary election.
Wilson is president and CEO of Destination Homes, a residential homebuilder in Utah.He said that as the owner of a small business, in Layton, and having served as the chairperson of the Davis Chamber of Commerce, “I have been in a unique position to view the financial challenges facing Davis County from many different angles.
“I have decided to run for House District 15 because I have the experience, perspective and leadership skills required to lead Davis County through these turbulent times.”
Wilson said the county deserves a representative who has faced the challenges presented by the economy, understands the importance of our schools and has a proven track record of leadership in both community service and business building — someone who has been in the trenches.
He said despite the fact he’s new to politics, “I believe I have the experience it will take to get results for Davis County in the State Legislature.
Wilson is a member of the Utah chapter of the Young President’s Organization. He has served as the chair of the Davis Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the chair of the Davis Economic Advisory Council, and board chair of Children’s Aid Society of Utah.
He was named one of Utah’s Top 40 under 40 Business Professionals. He serves on the National Advisory Council for Weber State University and on the Construction Industry Advisory Council for Brigham Young University.
He has a business degree from Weber State University and is a graduate of the College of Financial Planning.
Brad is a Davis County native and lives with his wife Jeni and three children in Kaysville, Utah.
District 19: Ben Horsley
BOUNTIFUL — District 19 candidate Ben Horsley wants to remind voters that this won’t be his first time in the Legislature.
Horsley has served as the Deputy District Director for Congressman Rob Bishop, and currently serves on both the Davis Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee and the Salt Lake County Legislative Caucus. He has also worked with several other non-profit groups which have lobbied the Legislature.
That work has shaped Horsley’s views on several issues and given him what he feels will be a strong basis for serving in the Legislature.
“I think that experience will be critical,” he said.
During his time with Bishop, Horsley spent a lot of time working on immigration issues. He takes a firm stand against illegal immigration, and believes that its greatest threat to the state comes through identity theft.
“Arizona is only doing the work that the federal government refuses to do,” said Horsley. “As usual, Washington is wrong.”
Horsley also disapproves of the public transit options that the state has discussed for Bountiful’s Main Street, instead feeling that continued support of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Utah Science and Technology Research Initiative (USTAR) is needed to help with the local economy.
“We don’t need to rip up main street and kill our downtown area for a train we don’t need and can’t afford,” he said.
He also feels that the state’s education regulations need to be loosened up to allow more freedom in the classroom.
“Our state needs to repeal unnecessary impositions that stifle creativity and innovation in the classroom,” he said.
No matter what the issue, however, Horsley swears that the party and the public will matter most.
“My legislative priorities will always be based on your input,” he said. “My decisions will always be governed by a strong conviction in our party principles and constitution.”
District 19: Jim Nielson
BOUNTIFUL — District 19 candidate Jim Nielson wants to use his experience to protect the county’s values.
Neilson, who served as a member of the Reagan administration in Washington for six years, has also done work with other Republican candidates and community-oriented non-profit foundations. He feels that experience will help him do “battle” in the Legislature.
“The qualities that make our community the best place to raise a family are under siege,” said Nielson. “As your representative I will fight to preserve the things that matter most to families.”
Currently, he is a business owner and works as the chief financial officer (CFO) for an architectural design firm. He feels that this experience will also be valuable in office.
“I know firsthand what it takes to live on a budget and meet a payroll,” he said. “I will bring that same discipline to state government.”
Nielson also feels that education is the state’s number one priority, and that the state should take advantage of lower construction costs and bond for needed facilities.
Beyond that, he feels that school calendars should be readjusted so that teachers are on 12-month contracts and that facilities are used year-round. He also wants to work to eliminate state mandates that send education money to administration rather than classrooms.
When it comes to illegal immigration, he feels that identity theft should be vigorously prosecuted and laws against hiring illegal workers increased.
On the flip side, “we should facilitate legal immigration for contributing members of society,” he said.
His views on the issues come from both the public and his own research.
“In developing my positions on important matters, I don’t pay attention to anyone’s talking points,” he said. “Instead I talk with people from across the political spectrum, read widely, and look closely at the lessons of history.”
District 20: Becky Edwards
NORTH SALT LAKE — Vox populi — the voice of the people. Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake has sort of adopted this as her code of conduct in representing District 20.
“These are not just words,” said Edwards. “I’m really their voice.”
Edwards said when she first started in the Legislature, House Speaker Dave Clark gave all of the representatives a notebook with “Vox populi” on it. He asked that they write in the book throughout the session. Edwards said she really took that challenge to heart in serving her constituents.
“I’m fiercely loyal to the people in my district,” she said. “I’m committed to work with them. That is the beauty of what the Founding Fathers created with a representative form of government. It works best when they (representatives) remember who they’ve been elected to represent.”
Edwards emphasized that people in her district can be confident that she is representing them. “I want people to know that their vote is safe with me,” she said. “I’ve recorded over 1,000 votes that are evidence of main stream Republican voting. I believe in transparency and independence from outside influence.”
Through neighborhood sessions at her home during the Legislature, Edwards believes she was able to connect with voters.
“The main thing I’ve tried to increase is involvement,” she said. “I’ve tried to lead out for the people in my district. They are my lobbyists. Most of the legislation I have run has come from my constituents.”
Her focus is on economic growth, job creation, educational excellence and responsible energy development.
Edwards and her husband, John have lived with their family in this area for the past 17 years.
“People can trust that the decisions and votes I make are based on the long-term best interests of the area because I’m invested in this area for the long term,” she said.
“I’d love the opportunity to serve the people of this district for another two years.”
District 20: DJ Schanz
BOUNTIFUL — DJ Schanz is challenging Becky Edwards for the Utah House District 20 seat.
“I feel the people in House District 20 deserve a choice of having a ‘Republican for Real’ on the ballot,” said Schanz. “What does it mean? It means being fiscally conservative, wanting smaller government and lower taxes. It also means putting an end to wasteful government spending.”
Schanz believes that District 20 has a special dynamic and demographic unlike any other in the state.
“We need to stand out as a district for the principles that ultimately made our state and our country great,” he said. “Those principles are based on limiting government and increasing individual liberty and accountability. By limiting regulation and taxation and creating a pro-business environment, we have the opportunity to be a bastion in the state for economic activity.”
A self-made businessman, Schanz owns and operates a medical transcription service. He holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Ariz. and an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University. He and his wife Kristin have three children.
If elected, Schanz said he will fight any new taxes and tax increases in the Legislature.
“I will also work toward reducing the tax burden for all Utahns,” he said. “It’s time to stop wasting the hard-earned money of hard-working Utahns. Government spends too much.”
Schanz said he is endorsed by the Utah Taxpayers Association, the Republican Liberty Caucus, and Utah Republican Assembly.
He sent an invitation out to Davis County voters. “Join me in helping to make Utah a bastion of liberty and economic activity.”
U.S. Senate: Tim Bridgewater
FRUIT HEIGHTS — Government has become so invasive it’s unconscionable, according to Tim Bridgewater, who spoke recently to interested voters in Fruit Heights.
“Government has spent so much money it is taxing future generations,” he said. “I will fight every day so that the legacy we leave as a generation is not one of bankruptcy or of being a second-tier nation.”
The word “fight” comes up a lot in Bridgewater’s remarks, who said he would be a “fighter to make sure we can extract and drill for oil and gas” in areas of Utah that have previously been locked out due to federal designations.
“I’ll be a fighter to make sure the voice of small businesses are heard,” he said, adding later that he would fight to make it possible for the private sector to thrive without having an undue tax burden.
He spoke of his support of a national fair tax or a flat tax “as an improvement on our punishing, confiscatory income tax.”
Bridgewater says his experience as a businessman is needed in the Capitol, where 58 senators are lawyers and 16 are doctors. “Government has been making it harder for small businesses,” he said.
“We need a new generation of leaders,” said Bridgewater, after referring to the message being sent not only in Utah by Bob Bennett’s failure to secure the nomination, but in states from Massachusetts to California. “We need to take a stand to secure our borders and to cut the debt.”
Other stands taken by the candidate include giving more power to the states as he said was intended by our Founding Fathers, fully engaging in Afghanistan by “untying the hands” of those who lead so we can “win the war and come home as soon as possible,” and reforming entitlements.
He emphasized the need to have less dependence on government, to be more self-reliant and to have more personal responsibility. “Let’s get government out of the way,” he said.
U.S. Senate: Mike Lee
ALPINE — Michael Lee wants to take over in Washington, D.C., come January, when Sen. Bob Bennett steps down.
An attorney, he is a son of the late Rex Lee, solicitor general in the Reagan administration. In his own rite, he has served as a law clerk to two federal judges, practiced in the nation’s capital and Salt Lake City.
Lee has created “five steps to limited government.” Those are: end deficit spending, strengthen national security, reform the tax system, reduce government regulations and end the era of the lifetime politician.
He outlines ways for Congress to fix illegal immigration, and says “we must work to defund and repeal Obamacare.”
On U.S.-Israeli relations, Lee said “as a member of the U.S. Senate, I will support Israel’s right to defend itself against threats to its national sovereignty and security. I will also support U.S. efforts to protect Israel, given the close connection between Israel’s national security and our own.”
Lee said Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid “are on a course that is as disturbing as it is unsustainable,” emphasizing “overhaul cannot be postponed or overlooked any longer like the problem is going to go away.
“Congress has no business relating our nation’s public education system, and has created problems whenever it has attempted to do so,” Lee said.
“The power to protect the most vulnerable members of society needs to be returned to the states,” he said.
“I will vigorously oppose any effort to undermine this right” to bear arms, Lee continued.
“All available energy resources” need to be developed, he said, including oil shale. The federal government should acquire land with state legislatures’ consent or “sell the land and use the revenue to pay down the national debt.”
He and his wife Sharon have three children and live in Alpine, Utah County.