FEATURE — The race for Iron County Commission is heating up as this month’s GOP primaries are quickly approaching, an election that will effectively determine the winner for both seats ahead of the November ballot.
Among the four candidates vying for the Iron County Commission Seat B is Sam Brower, a man who hopes his love for Iron County and tenacious work ethic will help him win the opportunity to serve the people.
Brower is a former general contractor who found his passion as a private investigator. He has degrees from Southern Utah University in criminalistics and criminal justice. For the past 15 years, he has worked heavily on cases involving members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was largely responsible for putting polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs behind bars, he said.
Along these lines, Brower is also the best-selling author of the book “Prophet’s Prey,” which spawned the Showtime documentary film of the same name and has been described as a “disturbing and shocking examination of Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints.”
However, while he may have worn a lot of hats, one thing Brower isn’t, he said, is a career politician. Brower said that Iron County has been stuck in a sort of status quo when it comes to the governmental and political environment. He said he believes the people are ready for someone that is outside of that status quo – a person who isn’t driven by anything other than a pure desire to serve the people and improve the county.
That is not to say that Brower isn’t experienced or qualified to serve as a county commissioner, he said. As a private investigator, he has worked in cooperation with many government and public safety officials on local and national levels, including the FBI, the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Labor and attorneys general in several states.
“I’ve been in constant contact and touch with government officials,” Brower said. “I know how that world works.”
Though his unique set of experiences has made Brower qualified for the position, he said it is his deep love for Iron County that gave him the desire to serve.
“I have no agenda other than I love the people,” Brower said. “I love my family and I love their families and I want to make Iron County the best it can be.”
The acorn doesn’t fall far before spreading its roots
Brower came to Iron County when his oldest child was just about to enter kindergarten. He moved his family from California to Utah in hopes of providing them a better chance at a safe and happy upbringing in a more wholesome environment, he said.
But Brower already had family ties to Utah, he said. His great-grandfather was one of the very first pioneers to settle in Sevier County, so he and his family made the decision to come to Utah and grow their own roots in Cedar City.
It didn’t take long before the Brower family fell in love with their new home, he said, adding that Cedar City “not only met but exceeded our expectations.”
“We were very well-received,” he said. “The people were incredible.”
Brower said he immediately felt confident and safe raising his family in Iron County.
But that was 27 years ago, and times have changed.
The once small rural county has seen a lot of growth in the past three decades. While growth can be good, Brower said, it also comes with a host of challenges that he can’t ignore as he watches his own family grow along with the county.
Brower is a grandpa now, he said, adding that he looks at his grandchildren and their world and doesn’t have the same amount of confidence about their safety and the wholesomeness of their environment as he once did with his own children.
“Over the past several years I have seen a great need in Iron County to bring about some change,” he said.
Brower said that some of the issues a growing Iron County population is facing include water resources and government overreach regarding the county’s general plan.
However, chief among his concerns for the county is public safety.
To address this, Brower supports increasing pay, improving morale and providing better tools and resources for law enforcement officers and public safety officials so the county can recruit and maintain an effective Sheriff’s Office.
In a previous Cedar City News article, Brower said the people of Iron County deserve a strong public safety department.
“We just don’t right now,” he said. “The commissioners’ job is to make sure those officials and department heads have the resources and tools they need to do their job, and it just hasn’t been there.”
Brower also cited increases in opioid abuse, child abuse and teen suicide as issues that are affecting families in Iron County – issues that he said are life and death, not just quality of life.
But whatever the issue, be it sufficient water or public safety, Brower said he will work with the same vigor, tenacity and spirit of cooperation to get the job done, because that is what it takes to be a commissioner.
“I will never, ever give up,” he said. “I will work and work tirelessly to accomplish the tasks at hand. I want the best for the people of Iron County. I think they deserve it.”
Brower is running against Paul Cozzens, Jennie Hendricks and Michelle Jorgenson. As there are no candidates from other parties filed for Seat B, this month’s GOP primary will effectively decide the election, as the winner will appear on November’s general election ballot uncontested.
Mail-in ballots have been sent to registered Republican voters in Iron County. Ballots are due back by June 26.
Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News / Cedar City News.
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