FRUIT HEIGHTS -- Diversity, education, and land-use disputes are issues Bonnie Petersen Flint and Vic Scott consider important to Davis County voters.
The two Democrats are seeking the party's nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Stewart Barlow for his seat in representing District 17 in the Utah House of Representatives.
Both candidates believe the Legislature needs more diversity, that education should be a high priority, and the state should not pursue a lawsuit to take over federal lands.
However, the two differ in their other priorities should they take office. Flint wants to address building strong families through job creation and stability, while Scott thinks health care should take center stage.
Scott, 57, said he is running because he has seen an extreme shift to the right in recent years and is concerned with the resulting decisions.
Flint, 50, believes there is strength in diversity.
"When people with different strengths, perspectives, and experiences work together the end result is a better and stronger community. In Utah, the vast majority of our lawmakers have the same perspectives ... the same life experiences, and that does a disservice to all of us."
Both candidates have placed a high priority on improving education.
"I know what good education looks like. I also know what is needed to provide the best education possible for our children," Flint said, citing 17 years as a secondary education French teacher and eight years of experience working at the district level, as well as her experience parenting Davis County students.
"I want to be able to ensure that all of our children are prepared for the 21st century and that our teachers have the tools to do it."
Scott, father of two children, also sees the need for emphasis on education.
"I want to become a legislator to be able to tackle stable and adequate school funding -- pre-kindergarten through post-grad," he said.
Scott is a retired Army officer with a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in public administration.
He currently works as a senior trainer for the ACOTA (Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance) Program, which offers field training for African peacekeepers in a range of peace support operations tasks.
In relation to the land-use dispute issue, Flint said she has always loved the outdoors and will work to preserve natural spaces for future generations.
"I understand that some would like to sue the federal government in order to buy our lands back, then use them to fund present needs," Flint said. "Not only will this be a short-sighted and costly legal battle, it would be akin to selling our birthright. In the not too distant future, the lands and the money received from them would both be gone."
Scott said he believes that such a lawsuit would not benefit the residents of Utah.
"The state should not take the land from the federal government, because it belongs to all Americans, present and future," Scott said. "Utahns do not need this time-consuming, multimillion dollar lawsuit that taxpayers have to pay for -- millions of dollars that could have been put to better uses like restoring Medicaid programs or improving neighborhood schools."
Flint also wants to prioritize the strengthening of Davis County families by providing an environment of stability and support.
This should stem from maintaining current jobs and employers, such as Hill Air Force Base, while also promoting new businesses that can provide jobs for county residents, she said.
"We must focus on recruitment of companies that offer jobs which can provide sufficient income to support our families," Flint said. "These jobs are essential to our county's stability and vitality, and these jobs are currently on short supply in Davis County."
Scott hopes to bring a level-headed, business approach to the district.
"With over 30 years of experience in a broad variety of roles working for federal and state governments, advocating as a board of trustee member for a private, nonprofit law firm, and a nonprofit mental health advocacy group, I have tackled human services, and women's and children's issues," Scott said.
Health care and health, as it relates to water conservation and air quality, will be his other priorities.