OGDEN -- The two candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination for a Weber County Commission seat have varying political platforms but share common career backgrounds as law enforcement officers.
Matthew Bell, a lieutenant with the Weber County Sheriff's Office, and Jon Greiner, former chief of the Ogden Police Department and a former state senator, are seeking the nomination at today's Weber County Republican Party Convention.
The candidate who receives at least 60 percent of the delegate vote will become the party's nominee. If neither Bell nor Greiner receive 60 percent of the delegate vote they will square off in a primary election.
Bell, 51, is currently the Weber County Republican Party chairman and has worked for the sheriff's office for 15 years. He is the former co-owner of Bell Photography, which is operated by his family.
Bell said he is running because he believes the Weber County Commission should be responsive to residents.
"I believe government should work for people," he said. "I believe in personal liberty and freedom."
However, Bell believes that residents should first attempt to solve problems on their own before turning to government for solutions.
"The last resort is to go to government," he said.
Bell said the private sector is the key to a successful economy. He also supports the philosophy that the Constitution protects individual rights, limiting the overreach of government.
Bell said it's essential that Weber County government operate in a cost-effective manner.
"Government needs to spend less and try to do more," he said.
Bell has never held an elected office and said he does not consider himself a politician.
"I just want to serve individual people and stick up for their rights and liberties," he said.
Bell and his wife, Kayla, are the parents of a daughter.
Greiner joined the Ogden Police Department in 1974 and served as chief from 1995 to 2011. He also served in the state Senate from 2007 to 2010. He holds a bachelor's degree in business from Weber State University and a master's degree in public administration from Utah State University
Greiner, 60, said his time leading the OPD and serving as a state lawmaker has provided him with valuable governmental experience that would help him succeed as a county commissioner.
"It seems like it would be a match for my skill set," he said. "I already have relationships with people the commissioners meet with."
Greiner said, if elected, he would work to build on Weber County's reputation as a recreation destination.
"We need to attract recreational events (such as outdoor athletic competitions) to the community," he said. "Recreation revenues provide dollars to the county to pay bills with."
Greiner said as a commissioner he would work to preserve the county's varied infrastructure of roads, water, personnel and human services.
Greiner also said it's important for Weber County government to operate within its existing financial means without raising taxes.
"We need to make sure to put our existing money to the bills we have," he said.
Greiner and his wife, Telitha, are the parents of two sons and a daughter.
Greiner was terminated from his job as Ogden's police chief in December because of a federal Hatch Act violation. The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board upheld an administrative law judge's 2010 decision that Greiner violated the Hatch Act because he signed off on a half-dozen federal grants worth more than $1 million and already in place during his successful 2006 campaign for the state Senate.
Greiner said he has checked with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and has been assured that his candidacy for the commission does not violate the Hatch Act.
Bell said he has also received Hatch Act clearance from the OSC.
The Republican nominee will face Democrat Corey Combe in November. The winner will replace County Commissioner Craig Dearden, who is not seeking re-election.