ST. GEORGE – Four county Republican candidates are vying for the Washington County Commission seat held by incumbent James Eardley. One of those candidates is 28-year-old Slade Hughes of Veyo.
To represent the future
“I feel we need representation for the future,” Hughes said, noting that the current County Commission is filled with individuals of retirement age and may not best represent the future needs of the county.
Hughes, who has run for public office before, said he has an interest in the future, particularly when it comes to public lands and education.
“I was raised in the agricultural industry,” Hughes said. “The public lands issues is at the top of my mind,” he said.
Hughes said he supports having more local control over public lands versus federal oversight, and said the county government has taken several steps to encourage local control.
Like others in Southern Utah who follow public lands issues, Hughes mentioned the current situation unfolding in Clark County, Nev., between rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. Hughes said he supports the Bundys and sees the BLM stealing cattle wrongfully limiting the First Amendment.
Another issue close to Hughes is education, as his oldest son will soon be entering kindergarten. As with public lands, he believes matters of education should be managed more on the local level, and not from the top down.
“I’m worried that people at the federal level think they know more” about education than us, Hughes said. “We need to make sure he have a say about that’s taught.”
Hughes also has a stake in small business, as he owns Spanish Trail Supply and Veyo Mercantile in Veyo. An addition to these ventures, he also works for Veyo’s nonprofit water company.
A matter of age?
While some may think 28 is on the young side for a county commissioner, Washington City Mayor Ken Neilson, doesn’t think so.
“I think we need to have involvement from more young people in politics,” he said.
Neilson said he has nothing against more seasoned individuals who hold political office, but changing things up and getting a fresh perspective isn’t a bad idea either.
If Hughes gains the nomination, he will face Democratic candidate Chris White for Seat A in the general election.
Republican delegates and party members can learn more about Slade Hughes by attending the Washington County Republican Convention will be held on Saturday, at the Gardner Center Ballroom at Dixie State University, 225 South 700 East, in St. George. Registration and electioneering begin at 7 a.m., with the convention officially starting at 8 a.m.
Candidates for Commission Seat A
- Greg Aldred – Commission Seat A: Greg Aldred draws inspiration from father, from youth
- Mark Boyer – Commission Seat A: Mark Boyer, conserving for future
- James Eardley (Incumbent) – Commission Seat A: Eardley seeks to retain spot for continuity, help new commissioner
- Slade Hughes – Commission Seat A: Slade Hughes of Veyo seeks to represent county’s future
- Zachery Renstrom – Commission Seat A: Renstrom says background as civil engineer, patent attorney will benefit county
Candidates for Commission Seat B
- Chet Hughes – Commission Seat B: Sheriff’s Sgt. Chet Hughes seeks to serve community he’s protected
- Victor Iverson – Commission Seat B: Victor Iverson seeks county commission nomination
- Daniel McArthur – Commission Seat B: Dan McArthur, ‘Dixie’s biggest cheerleader’ seeks county victory
- Introduction to the County Commission candidates
- Candidates for county attorney tout expertise, focus on constitutional preparedness
- County Assessor needs numbers skills, people management; 3 want the job
- Republican caucus attendees tout value of caucus system – gives an overview of the caucus-convention system
- County Democratic caucus focuses on issues, involvement; Republican caucus details
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