Weber County voters to pick GOP contenders in County Commission races
OGDEN — With the primary voting deadline looming, Weber County Republicans will pick the GOP contenders for two County Commission posts coming open as well as the county clerk/auditor spot.
Since Scott Jenkins, who currently holds seat B on the County Commission, isn’t seeking reelection, at least one newcomer will be coming to the body. The GOP contenders are Bill Olson and Sharon Bolos, with the winner next Tuesday to face off in November against Libertarian Brian Rowley.
Incumbent Gage Froerer and Shanna Francis are the GOP contenders in the race for the seat A County Commission post, with the primary victor facing off in November against Democrat John Thompson.
Ricky Hatch, the incumbent county clerk/auditor, faces a challenge from Toby Mileski in the GOP primary. With no contenders from other parties, primary voting will decide that race.
Mail-in ballots are out and voting culminates next Tuesday. Here’s more on the Republican primary candidates for county office:
Seat B, Weber County Commission: Sharon Bolos is an accountant and former two-term mayor of West Haven.
“I have a history of working collaboratively with stakeholders to find solutions that benefit everyone. I believe in small government and have been successful in keeping that government in local hands,” she said in a campaign statement posted on the state of Utah election page, managed by the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office. She served on the West Haven City Council before being elected mayor and lost in her bid for a third term as leader of the city last year.
Among her priorities are public safety, water conservation and housing affordability.
Bill Olson is a retired businessman seeking election for the first time to an elective post. He has said he’d take a business approach in serving as county commissioner, viewing county residents as “shareholders or investors” and himself as beholden to them.
“Today, I am a retired entrepreneurial executive with more than 40 years’ experience in business start-up and development across multiple industries,” he said in a campaign statement. He has put together business plans and managed and co-founded a range of businesses in marketing, molecular diagnostics, renewable energy and more.
Olson is also active in the Weber County Republican Party.
The latest campaign finance reports were due Tuesday. Olson reported $16,842.94 in contributions and $14,577.88 in expenses. Bolos reported $41,727.54 in contributions and $17,536.24 in expenses.
Seat A, Weber County Commission: Gage Froerer, a Huntsville resident and former member of the Utah House seeking his second and final term as Weber County commissioner, is a strong property rights advocate. He is a real estate broker and has said he’d take a businessman’s approach to managing the county, paying particularly close attention to spending.
On his campaign website, he notes several accomplishments during his tenure as county commissioner, including elimination of a $60,000 payout elected officials were entitled to on leaving office. He also noted that the county became a Second Amendment sanctuary under his leadership and touted moves to refinance county debt, saving $2 million a year.
Francis, from Eden, runs the Ogden Valley News newspaper and serves on the Ogden Valley Planning Commission, an advisory body to county commissioners on planning issues in the Ogden Valley.
She’d put a focus on “sustainable conservation of the county’s most valued natural resources — her people, water, clean air and open space,” she said in a campaign statement.
One of her top goals would be “tailoring housing and resort development according to ‘best practices’ standards for balanced, healthy communities.” As Utah suffers through a drought, she’d also zero in on properly managing drinking and secondary water resources.
Francis reported $5,443.84 in contributions and $8,791 in expenses in the campaign. Froerer reported $55,415.05 in contributions and $22,519.87 in expenses.
Weber County clerk/auditor: Ricky Hatch is seeking his fourth term as clerk/auditor, a post that helps manage the county budget and oversees elections.
In a campaign statement, he cited his expertise in elections, accounting and auditing and his passion “for good, proper government.”
He noted the accolades his office has received in its efforts managing elections as well as his efforts as jitters about election fraud escalated in connection with the 2020 U.S. presidential vote.
As worries mounted, “I did something about it, diagramming the entire election process, identifying risks and safeguards and recommending improvements,” Hatch said. “I then championed legislation that strengthens election security throughout the state.”
Under his leadership, he said, the county has tweaked its employee benefits program, saving $23 million over 10 years, paid off debt early, created a fraud hotline and implemented new internal audit programs.
Mileski, former mayor of Pleasant View, noted his efforts at overseeing and monitoring public spending. He’s worked for more than 30 years in real estate.
“I understand the importance of taxpayer dollars and have been recognized as a taxpayer ‘watchdog,'” he said in a campaign statement. “Public service should not be a career endeavor at the expense of the taxpayers.”
Among his goals as clerk/auditor would be safeguarding election security “by analyzing every step of the process and making the process transparent to increase the confidence of voters.” He would also carry out audits of public spending to make sure tax funds “are being spent wisely.”
Hatch reported $22,709.94 in contributions and $18,061.47 in expenses in the campaign. Mileski reported $38,259.59 in contributions and $41,627.84 in expenses.