ST. GEORGE – With the primary for the county attorney Republican nomination under a week away, both candidates have raked in a number of endorsements from private citizens, public officials and law enforcement.
Challenger Nathan Caplin, who touts constitutional expertise and challenging federal overreach within the county, has garnered the support of area mayors. Brock Belnap, the incumbent, says he has the proven experience to keep the job and has served the county well in prosecuting crime and combating federal encroachment. He has gained the support of the county sheriff and city police chiefs.
Early voting continues through Friday.
For individuals who haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet the candidates in person, both are still holding meet-and-greet events before the primary, which takes place Tuesday.
Belnap will be at a meet-and-greet at the Bloomington County Club, 3174 S. Bloomington Dr., in St. George, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by St. George City Council members Bette Arial, Joe Bowcutt, Jimmie Hughes and Michele Randal, who have each endorsed Belnap.
On Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m., Caplin will be at the home of Ralph and Cheri Atkin, 390 Del Mar Dr. in St. George, and voters are invited to come meet him. The home is located behind Bloomington Elementary School.
St. George Mayor Jon Pike, who offered an initial statement of support on Caplin’s campaign website, posted a more detailed outline of why he supports Caplin for county attorney on Facebook Tuesday. Pike said he was initially planning to remain neutral in the race, but after listening to Caplin more and meeting with him “I was convinced that Nate was my choice for county attorney,” he said.
Pike outlined four reasons for his support of Caplin:
- An emphasis on planning, which was a large part of Pike’s own mayoral race. “Nate emphasizes being prepared for legal challenges,” Pike said. “Planning ahead for key issues that the county will certainly face such as public land concerns and threats to our constitutional rights.”
- Listening. “Nate has indicated his intent to establish a county-wide volunteer council to listen to citizen input and concerns related to the county attorney’s office.”
- Focus on the Constitution. “For a position that is focused on our legal system, I want our county attorney to have a strong knowledge of, passion for, and focus on the Constitution.”
- Working together. Caplin has proposed, as part of a better battle against federal encroachment, that the city and county governments all work together and provide a stronger, unified front. This is a position Pike also supports. “Working together as local citizens in partnership with surrounding counties and the state of Utah … I believe we will be much stronger in the challenges that come our way.”
As previously mentioned, the Washington County Sheriff and the chiefs of police throughout the county support Belnap. Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher submitted his support of the current county attorney to media Wednesday.
“I am supporting County Attorney Brock Belnap in his reelection on Tuesday, June 24, and I encourage you to get out and vote Belnap with me,” Pulsipher said. “I support Brock because I trust him and his experience navigating critical cases, and because he has proven to me that he is a leader.”
Reasons Pulsipher endorses Belnap:
- “I trust Brock. When it comes to experience, he has both quantity and quality.”
- “I respect Brock and follow his advice. As Washington County Sheriff, I know the importance of having a county attorney that can lead law enforcement officers to make sure crime is fought effectively and fairly.”
- “Finally, I agree with Brock’s understanding of his role as Washington County Attorney. He works to ensure that we live in a safe community where government remains as small and as local as possible. Some are saying that Brock’s opponent is the better candidate, despite his inexperience, because of his desire to expand the role of the county attorney and create ‘movements’ by virtue of the office. I strongly disagree.”
Others who have submitted letters endorsing Belnap include:
Ed. Note: The days of the candidate meet-and-greets have been corrected.
- Veterans test candidates for county’s top cop
- Caplin focuses on constitutional knowledge, Belnap touts experience
- Candidates for county attorney tout expertise, focus on constitutional preparedness
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