Without yet declaring victory in Washington County Commission race, Almquist shares goal to listen to voters

Gil Almquist speaks at a debate for Washington County Commission in St. George, Utah, Oct. 17, 2018 | File photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Gil Almquist has all but claimed victory in the race for seat A on the Washington County Commission.

Almquist, a Republican from St. George, secured about 75 percent of the votes Tuesday to beat Robert Ford, a Democrat from Rockville, according to the unofficial election results. While there are still some votes to be counted, Almquist told St. George News Wednesday he’s not “counting my chickens before they hatch.”

“I’m just grateful for the people of this county who have trust in me to carry forward their agenda and their desires for what I stand for – the conservative principles of government,” Almquist said. “It’s looking positive that I’m going to win.”

Almquist also thanked his opponent for being a “very knowledgable, experienced” person to run against.

“I promised (Ford) at the end of the debate that no matter who won, we’d work together on various issues where he has great knowledge,” Almquist said.

Robert Ford, of Rockville, speaks about running as a Democrat for the Washington County Commission at the Democratic caucus meeting at Dixie Middle School in St. George, Utah, March 20, 2018 | File photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

Ford told St. George News he’s happy with his campaign because even though he lost, he raised important issues about the importance of conserving water, the high cost of the Lake Powell Pipeline, and what he called the lack of representation in rural areas of the county.

“As I’ve met and debated with (Almquist) and some other members of the county commission, I have found that he and others have moderated their tone on some of those key issues that are important to me,” Ford said. “Hopefully I helped raise some awareness about some of these problems.”

Almquist said as a new county commissioner, he plans to listen to as many of his constituents about their concerns for the county. One of the ways he hopes to do that is by holding regular office hours so members of the public can meet with him and speak with him.

“I am very open,” Almquist said. “I want people to know they can come and talk with me about anything.”

Last month, Almquist said one of his first goals in the Washington County Commission will be enacting an amnesty period for property taxes. He said he’s not going to bring “sweeping changes” because that would undercut the work of the previous and current county commissioners that he supports.

As the projected winner, Almquist will replace Zachory Renstrom on the county commission as Renstrom decided not to run for reelection.

For other Election 2018 stories, click here.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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