CEDAR CITY – The position for state senatorial District 28 is up for election this year. District 28 covers Beaver and Iron counties and part of Washington County. Although there is no representative from the Democratic Party, the Republican incumbent seeking re-election, Evan Vickers, does have a recognizable Republican challenger in Casey Anderson. The race will essentially be decided at the state Republican Party Nominating Convention Saturday.
Evan Vickers has been serving a two-year term as state senator since January 2013 and is attempting to get onto the four-year cycle through election in November. His opponent is familiar to most constituents, as Casey Anderson was appointed over Vickers in 2011 after the passing of Dennis Stowell until the next election in November 2012. In his run for the seat in November 2012, Vickers defeated Anderson.
Anderson is back, seeking nomination from the Republican Party, and he said he is feeling that the position should represent the people it serves.
Evan Vickers has served in the Utah State Legislature for six years – four year in the state House of Representatives and two yeas in the state Senate – and he is looking to extend it to 10. He specifically focuses on rural Utah and how it pertains to the rest of the state.
“My seat is interesting because there is really only five rural seats in the senate, so I’m one of five rural seats,” Vickers said. “I take that very seriously, I really emerge myself in those rural issues.”
One rural issue involves a bill that was passed in March of 2014 that affects rural electric cooperatives in order to help the clean air initiative. Each one of the rural electric systems has to charge their customers a $1 fee, Vickers said.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot, a dollar a month, but it is harmful to the rural electrics,” he said. “It’s troublesome for them, now they have to go out and educate their customers to opt out.”
In politics, conflict is part of the job. You try and get every one in the center to find a resolution, Vickers said. You look at it in perspective and see what is the best for the whole state, and what is best for the district.
Critical funding issues have been a positive for the district. “That was really really critical to our area,” Vickers said, “because it provided funding for a number of things.”
Funding was secured for Dixie State University to help with the future purchase East Elementary – East Elementary is currently still in use – for future campus expansion, Vickers said. Funding was also secured for the future construction of the new Southwest Applied Technology College building in Cedar City.
Experience, institutional knowledge, and building legislator and local relationships, gives him the ability to get the job done, Vickers said.
“I want to continue on dealing with these rural issues,” he said. “I have much more freedom, the ability, the experience and the desire to serve.”
Casey Anderson is a former member of the Utah State Senate. He hopes to return in an attempt to represent the people and execute what is best for the district.
As state senator, Anderson said, he will listen to the people, and address the things that aren’t being addressed by the Legislature.
“We need to stop listening to special interest groups and the money-interests that finance campaigns,” he said. “We need to just start listening to the people, and what do the people want.”
In regards to negative influences, when a new regulation or new tax is passed, often times the long-term consequences can be forgotten, Anderson said, and he is willing to do the right thing even in the face of opposition.
“I think the people of Utah want us to do the right thing,” Anderson said, “even if it makes us feel uncomfortable.”
When resolving conflict, he said: “Lets get on the same page, what are the facts.”
This method will avoid personal attacks, he said and allows people to focus on the issues rather than the politics.
Rural issues are also of concern to Anderson, especially in regards to public lands and the prairie dog issue.
“People have been saying, ‘lets solve this prairie dog issue,’” Anderson said. “We have politicians that – it appears that their goal isn’t to solve it but rather to manage it – so let’s solve the issue rather than manage the issue.”
A state senator not only needs to serve, Anderson said, but they also need to be willing to solve problems.
“That’s what we are elected to do, … to fix the problems not to just ignore them and pretend they don’t exist,” Anderson said.
The Multi County State House and Senate District Elections will take place at 8:30 a.m. at the 2014 Utah Republican Nominating Convention on Saturday, at the South Towne Expo Convention Center, 9575 S State Street in Sandy.
Map of Utah Senate District 28
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