Brad Galvez, Lee Perry vie for House position

Jun 21 2012 - 10:43am

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Brad Galvez
Lee Perry
Brad Galvez
Lee Perry

The race for the Republican nod for District 29 in the Utah House of Representatives features two candidates, each enjoying the quip: "We both are" when the question comes up of who's the incumbent.

With the redistricting every 10 years following the U.S. Census, District 29 was created straddling the Weber-Box Elder county line. It supplanted Rep. Brad Galvez's District 6 in Weber County and Rep. Lee Perry's District 2, which had covered parts of Box Elder and Cache counties.

Both are completing their first term in the Legislature.

"It's sad, obviously," said Galvez, 51, of West Haven. "As freshman legislators, we're at the bottom of the totem pole. So we didn't have a lot of say in it."

"Someone was going to lose a legislative seat, between Salt Lake and Northern Utah, and seniority has an impact," said Perry, 45, of Perry, his family related to the founders of the little town south of Brigham City.

Now the two Republicans have to focus on their differences and work to defeat a colleague they otherwise had no problem with. The winner of the June 26 primary will face Democrat Heidi Britton, a Plain City resident, in November.

There are differences between Perry and Galvez.

They stood at the opposite ends of an unsuccessful bill proposed in the last legislative session to end DUI checkpoints conducted by law enforcement. Perry, a lieutenant with the Utah Highway Patrol, fought it.

"It's a great tool of law enforcement," he said of the checkpoints, adding they are advertised in advance and require a judge's approval.

"The message it sends to the public is huge," Perry said. "Just the fact people hear about them keeps people from driving drunk. To me, that saves lives."

Galvez has Fourth Amendment search and seizure concerns about the practice. "I understand that the courts have upheld them as constitutional. But I think you need to have probable cause (evidence of a crime being committed) beforehand. It's a slippery slope and a fine line.

"We're giving up our rights for security because we're so afraid."

Despite his seemingly liberal stance on individual rights, Galvez points out he ranks as more conservative than Perry in the compilations of various watchdog groups who look at legislators' voting record, compiled on the website utleg.blogspot.com.

Galvez noted in 2011 he scored a 77 percent rating for conservatism, compared to 52 for Perry. In 2012 he earned an 82, and Perry 66.7.

Perry was skeptical of the rankings. "I know he keeps telling everyone he's more conservative than me, but I am every bit as fiscally conservative as he is."

They have very different backgrounds. Perry is the Utah Highway Patrol lieutenant over Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties, a 24-year veteran of law enforcement. He notes he's likely the only active law enforcement officer in the Legislature, which means members of both houses come to him for his take on law enforcement issues.

Galvez is a real estate developer, running his own shop now after working with the Boyer Corp. He noted he was involved "from day one" in Ogden's downtown shopping center, The Junction, and the conversion of the old Defense Depot Ogden into Business Depot Ogden.

"I know how to grow the economy," he said.

Perry uses three cell phones, a personal one plus those issued by the Legislature and the UHP.

Galvez only has two.

"I don't feel like a slacker."

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