Two local political races are headed to a primary after Cache County Republican delegates on Wednesday night did not give any of the candidates the commanding majority needed to prevent a June contest.
Delegates from across the county gathered at Mount Logan Middle School to hear speeches from a range of candidates vying for local, state and federal offices at the annual convention.
In the race to represent Legislative District 4 in the Utah House of Representatives, Ed Redd received 79 votes to incumbent Rep. David Butterfield’s 66 votes. Either candidate would have needed at least 70 percent (102 votes) of the county delegate vote from that district to avoid a primary.
The other local race voted on Wednesday was for Logan Seat No. 1 on the Cache County Council. Incumbent Cory Yeates received 28 votes, compared to 25 votes for former Logan Police Capt. Eric Collins. Had either candidate received at least 70 percent (38 votes), a primary would not be needed.
Redd, a well-known community physician and deputy director at the Bear River Health Department, told the audience that his experience in the medical field is needed in the Utah Legislature.
“My expertise is health care, and I’ve been at it for about 23 years,” Redd said, noting he has served in both private and public health capacities. “I’ve worked with people with mental illness. I’ve worked with people with ... drug and alcohol abuse problems, and I have a lot of experience in these areas.”
Calling himself “the Ed Redd Republican,” he said he does not have a “hidden agenda” and will not “sell my soul” to outside organizations or special interests.
“I am free to represent you, the citizens of Cache County, and I intend to keep it that way,” Redd said.
Butterfield said he has enjoyed serving in the Legislature, calling it an “honor and privilege.”
“Those of you who know me know I’m a lifelong Republican,” he said. “I’ve spent my professional career in the private sector, and I’m a fiscal conservative. And I think those are important things for the issues that face us in the future.”
But Butterfield noted he’s not afraid to deviate from fellow Republicans in an effort to do “what’s right.”
“This past session, I’ve had to do that on a couple of occasions,” he said. “There were some high-profile bills regarding the sex ed and some local control bills, and I believe that I was on the right side of those even though I was voting against some of my colleagues in the Republican side. So I try to do what’s right, besides just sticking inside those labels.”
Butterfield said, if re-elected, he would provide leadership on the “idea of limited government,” education and investing in infrastructure.
Yeates told the crowd he is proud of his record serving on the County Council.
“I want you to know that as a local business owner, I know how difficult it is to try and deal with a bureaucratic government in trying to set up a new business,” Yeates said. “We have worked at the county level to try to make Cache County more friendly. And I think we are very friendly toward business, and I am very proud of that record.”
He added that in the past six years, “We have not raised property taxes in the county on the county portion of your property tax.”
Yeates pledged to continue to fight to keep government “efficient.”
“Part of that efficiency ... is making sure that our county employees are justly compensated for the work they do,” he said.
Collins, who now works as emergency preparedness coordinator at Logan Regional Hospital, said he feels it is a “personal duty” to serve the public.
“I’ve done that in law enforcement for a long time, and I’ve missed that ... while I’ve been at the hospital,” he said.
Developing the trust of the public is something Collins said he feels strongly about.
“Through my public service, I’ve always conducted myself with honesty and integrity and will continue to do so in the future,” Collins said. “I believe it is through these strong core values that you develop trust with the people that you serve.”
Collins pledged to “always be available” by cellphone or email.
He added, “I’ll spend the time that it takes to research the issues before the council votes on them and to be proactive in seeking input from all those that are impacted by those decisions.”
Nine Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, including U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, addressed the attendees. Candidates for other races — including U.S. Congress (First Congressional District), Utah governor, attorney general, state auditor and national committeeman — were also given time to speak.