Warning: This post contains my own opinions. If you’ve come to afelection.info only for candidate information, such as contact information, our Q&A, or John Mulholland’s notes on his candidate interviews, and you don’t care to encounter my personal views, thanks for stopping by. Please use one of the links I just gave you to back away now.
For the rest of you, here are my quick thoughts on the races which appear on my ballot for the 2017 primary election in American Fork, including a race that’s there by mistake. If you want more commentary and analysis, see my notes on the mayoral and city council debates.
US House of Representatives, Utah District 3, Republican Primary
This race should not be on my ballot, and my vote won’t be counted if I cast one, because I am not longer a Republican. I do favor a closed primary, by the way, in which only Republicans vote to choose the Republican nominee. And I like that the signature method of getting on the ballot has given us — well, them — a solid alternative to Chris Herrod.
If I were voting, I’d favor Provo Mayor John Curtis over former state legislator Chris Herrod and newcomer Tanner Ainge. All three have credentials. Most of a million dollars of out-of-state money has been spent trying to convince voters that Herrod and Ainge are each the only true conservative in the race — spent by factions for whom truth and transparency are only two of the weapons in the arsenal, and apparently not the favorites.
I prefer a solid conservative record of governance (Curtis’s) over loudly-proclaimed conservative principles. (No, I don’t think Herrod is right when he claims Curtis can’t be a conservative because he supported Bus Rapid Transit.) I prefer in-state money to out-of-state money. And I prefer a productive, reasonable temperament to an unproven temperament (Ainge) or a proven record of uncivil behavior (Herrod, according to people I trust who’ve worked with him).
I also prefer workhorses to show horses, so Mayor Curtis will be a big step up from the Congressman he proposes to replace.
Curtis is the likely winner. I look forward to voting for him in the general election. If he loses, watch for the new United Utah Party to make a strong run, in the person of candidate Jim Bennett.
American Fork Mayor
Current Councilman Brad Frost is light years ahead of fellow Councilman Carlton Bowen and longtime resident Daniel Copper. We’ll wonder why we have to have a general election at all. I’m voting Brad Frost on the basis of experience, productivity, temperament, hard work, and not the slightest trace of ideological poisoning, among other things. He shows up, he does the math, he connects numbers and principles to the realities of governing, and he communicates well. This distinguishes him in an otherwise weak field.
More thoughts on this race are in my very candid notes on the mayoral debate.
American Fork City Council
We can vote for two city council candidates; four will proceed to the general election. This is an especially strong field of candidates; we should be grateful to them all for that. It would take some effort to cast a bad vote.
My votes go to Staci Carroll and Barbara Christiansen, with a wish that I had a third vote for Ernie John. These three lift themselves above other good candidates by their experience in local government and their extensive knowledge of city issues. A key factor in my two preferences among these three is their excellent communication (actual communication, not just skills) and the fact that they’ve been attending the council’s Thursday work sessions too, which cannot be watched online, not just attending or watching the regular Tuesday evening meetings.
That said, you’re not casting a bad vote, if you vote for incumbent Jeff Shorter, Kyle Barratt, or Doug Richards. As I said in my notes on the city council debate, we’d have rejoiced to have any of them in some of our previous city council races. I like them all — and in Councilman Shorter’s case, that’s a big change for me.
As regards the other two candidates, Bill Houlin dropped out of the race. As far as I know, Aaron Clegg hasn’t dropped out. But he’s basically been a no-show. That and the fact that all I know about him is that he has been endorsed on fliers touting Carlton Bowen and Chris Herrod . . .
Well, you never know whether he actually fits that unimpressive mold until you get to know him, his temperament, and his views. A similarly toxic right-wing faction backed current Councilman Kevin Barnes two years ago, until they found out that he didn’t fit their view of the world and didn’t want their endorsement. As soon as I got to know him, I became an eager supporter of Councilman Barnes, and I still am. We’ll talk about that in two years, if he runs again.
Anyway, maybe a vote for Aaron Clegg would be a bad vote. Maybe it wouldn’t. How would we know?
Watch for these four to emerge from the primary, not necessarily in this order: Staci Carroll, Barbara Christiansen, Ernie John, and Councilman Jeff Shorter. The contest in the general election will be a delight, with such a field.
My friends, we’ve had over 4,500 page views at afelection.info during this primary election cycle, as of this morning. This leads us to think that our efforts to help connect voters to candidates are working. Thanks for reading!
Thanks especially to the candidates — to all of them for running, and to most of them for helping us here.
Thanks to John Mulholland for his interviews and his notes on them, and to Rod Martin for those “Learn Before You Vote” signs. (If you want one before the general election, holler.)
To the people who’ve stopped me on the street or called or e-mailed me, wanting to know for whom you should vote . . .
Those of you who want to hear my reasons flatter me.
Those of you who want only the names, not details, scare me a little. (Only a little, because I know you to be good people.)
To all of you, vote as you think best, of course . . . but vote!