ST. GEORGE – Nihla Judd is running for Utah House District 75 as a candidate for the Independent American Party. Previously a delegate for the Republican Party, Judd switched parties after being asked to run for office as a third party candidate.
That is one of the points Judd makes about her candidacy: She didn’t originally choose to run; she was asked by the leadership of the Independent American Party, instead. That’s how they work, she said; they consider candidates they believe are best suited to represent the people and uphold the Constitution in the way they vote, then that person is asked to run.
“They don’t want career politicians and self-aggrandizement,” Judd said.
People will often go into elections and figure they’ll vote for the lesser of two evils, she added. It is the wrong approach, she said; people should vote for who they believe best fits the job. Voting on principle is not throwing away your vote.
“We can vote on principle and uphold the Constitution,” Judd said.
On matters facing the county and the state, Judd said she measures everything by the standard of the Constitution as she understands it. On the issue of education, for example, she said, “There is absolutely not one word in the Constitution about education.”
The federal mandate of public education is unconstitutional, Judd said, adding that parents and local school officers are best suited to guide the education of children, not a federal department.
“Local control is what produces the best education,” Judd stated on her campaign website, “not money, federal control, or government programs.”
Like many Republican representatives, Judd supports the idea of Utah taking over its public lands.
“Absolutely, the land should be turned back to the states,” she said, adding that it was unconstitutional for the federal government to control lands in the state in the first place. Judd also said resources currently locked within public lands could be used to fund the state in place of federal funds.
Using the lands to fund public education isn’t one of the uses Judd has in mind, though. She said she doesn’t see Utah’s low spending on public education as a problem but rather a sign of the state’s frugality. Despite the low funding, she said, Utah is actually among the top in the nation for test scores and graduations.
Discussing a topic of local concern for many, Judd spoke about the Lake Powell Pipeline. She said when she was a Republican delegate, she noticed the candidates she vetted apparently did not support letting the people vote on the proposed pipeline. The people didn’t know enough about the subject to make an educated decision on the matter, Judd claimed the candidate had said.
“It’s only fair to allow input from the people who will be paying for it,” Judd said.
The pipeline, which would run 140 miles from Lake Powell to Washington County and supply water to the county, has been projected by the Washington County Water Conservancy District to cost approximately $1.1 billion. Opponents claim the cost could be five times that much and come with crippling interest later on.
Judd is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Don Ipson and Democratic challenger Cheryl Hawker for House 75.
Prospective voters can learn more about Judd, her platform and the Independent American Party at her campaign website.
Early voting ran from Oct 21-31. The general election is Nov. 4.
- Incumbent Ipson runs on experience, seeks re-election in District 75
- Hawker runs for House District 75, promises bipartisanship, impartiality
- Who should manage public lands? Lockhart, Ivory face off with McCool, Keiter at SUU debate
- Voters share concerns at Republican candidates meet, greet
- Party summit rallies for Constitution, God; Bundy, Sheriff Mack featured; STGnews Videocast
- ON Kilter: Analyst or advocate; examining the Lake Powell Pipeline
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