Conventional wisdom is that, in heavily Republican districts here in Utah, a candidate who wins the Republican nomination has pretty much “sewn up” the general election and can relax. I want you to know that I have not relaxed and continue to work hard for the citizens of the district. (As a result, “Looney Tunes” isn’t a bad metaphor for my life of late.)
Here’s a sampling of what I’ve done over the past several months to prepare to hit the ground running:
- Met with Amanda Smith (DEQ) to discuss and learn more about air quality and other issues; Greg Sheehan (UDWR) on fish and wildlife issues; Tony Rampton, Utah Attorney General’s Office, on public lands issues; Ryan Benson, Big Game Forever, on issues related to wolf and sage grouse and the Endangered Species Act.
- Met with legislators, non-profit groups, and interested parties on a range of other issues including Medicaid expansion, title insurance, tort reform and medical malpractice, bank and credit union regulations, energy development, and planning for Utah’s future water needs. Many of these discussions are ongoing.
- Toured oil and gas fields in Eastern Utah to learn about new technologies and the importance of that industry to Utah’s economy and to education funding.
- Attended a work session with the Farmington City Council and Mayor to discuss the status of the proposed West Davis Corridor. I’ve also discussed this issue with a number of district residents with differing views.
- On Education, I spent a couple hours observing an 8th Grade math class at Fairfield Junior High. I also met with a local high school principal and a local elementary school (Kindergarten) teacher. In each case, I was anxious to learn what was going “right” with public education in addition to hearing about the challenges we face. I’ve also had numerous conversations with teachers, parents, and concerned citizens about Common Core.
- Participated in a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters last week and a meet the candidate night at Centennial Junior High School.
- Extensively vetted potential candidates for leadership positions in the Utah House of Representatives.
- Lastly, I’ve attended nearly every interim day of the legislature to learn more about the issues that the legislature will grapple with next year.