Tuesday , March 13, 2018 - 4:30 AM
Ricky Hatch volunteers as a poll worker at the Weber Center in Ogden on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Hatch is the Weber County Clerk/Auditor and came in to help last minute when another poll worker was sick.
Your school board needs you.
Your county needs you.
Your state needs you.
If you think that sounds corny, we decline to apologize.
Because we believe in representative government.
This is a general election year. You have until 5 p.m. Thursday, March 15, to register as a candidate in Weber County.
When candidates run unopposed, representative government suffers because voters cannot weigh the merits of competing viewpoints.
Ideas always benefit from critique and refinement. But when a candidate goes unchallenged, so does that candidate’s ideas.
So far, no one has filed to oppose Utah Sen. Ann Millner in District 18, or Rep. Kelly Miles in District 11. Kathie Darby is the only candidate running as of Monday for the Utah House in District 9.
County Commission Seat B is an oddity — not only does the field include two Republicans, Lori Brinkerhoff and Mark Miller, it also features a Democrat, Neil Hansen.
Commissioner James Ebert faces a challenge for Seat A from another Republican, Gage Froerer. And in the sheriff’s race, all seven candidates are Republicans.
County Attorney Chris Allred is running unopposed. So is the county clerk/auditor, Ricky Hatch.
No one is challenging their ideas. No one is offering an alternative approach to either office.
But it’s worse in the nonpartisan elections for the two local school boards, Ogden and Weber. Through Monday afternoon, no candidates had filed for Ogden districts 4 and 7, not even the incumbents, board president Jeffrey Heiner (4) and Joyce Wilson (7). At least in District 2, voters enjoy a choice — they can stick with the incumbent, Douglas Barker, or go with his challenger, Oscar Mata.
All five candidates for the Weber School Board are running unopposed, and only one — Jan Burrell in District 2 — isn’t already on the board.
Your school board needs you. Your county and state need you.
Because representative government suffers when candidates and ideas go unchallenged.