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Weber County Commission hopefuls to debate as jockeying for office heats up

By Tim Vandenack - | May 19, 2022

Photos supplied

The Weber County Commission candidates for seat A, from left in the top row, Republicans Shanna Francis and Gage Froerer, the incumbent, and Democrat John Thompson. The County Commission candidates for seat B are in the bottom row, from left, Republicans Sharon Bolos and Bill Olsen and Libertarian Brian Rowley. The Republican primary is June 28, 2022, and the general election is Nov. 8, 2022.

OGDEN — With primary voting culminating in just over a month, the time is here to start weighing the varied hopefuls for office, especially on the GOP side.

To aid in the process, the Weber County League of Women Voters is hosting a debate on Monday among the three seat A and three seat B hopefuls for the Weber County Commission.

“Every person in Weber County will be affected by these individuals,” said Terri McCulloch, the league president. County commissioners wield legislative and executive powers, overseeing budgeting and much of the management of the county government apparatus. The 2022 county spending plan totals nearly $250 million.

At the same time, the Weber County Republican Party will hold three candidate forums in June to let the public learn more about the varied GOP hopefuls ahead of the June 28 primary. The only contested primary races in Weber County — including the District 5 Utah Senate contest and the races for the District 8, 10 and 11 Utah House seats — involve Republicans

Here are some of the details:

League debate: The League of Women Voters debate will be held Monday starting at 6 p.m. at the Main Library at 2464 Jefferson Ave. in Ogden.

The three hopefuls for seat A are Republicans Gage Froerer, the one-term incumbent, and Shanna Francis as well as Democrat John Thompson. The three seat B hopefuls are Republicans Sharon Bolos and Bill Olson and Libertarian Brian Rowley. Scott Jenkins, a Republican, is the seat B incumbent, but he’s not running again.

Those attending can submit questions at the debate itself while League reps will also come up with some queries to put to the candidates. Commissioners have been addressing a number of heated issues related to the Ogden Valley in recent months — proposed expansion of the Nordic Valley and Snowbasin ski resorts, recreation offerings around Pineview Reservoir and short-term rentals. But McCulloch says that area won’t be the sole focus on Monday.

“We will not spend the entire time discussing the valley because there are a lot of other things going on in Ogden, too,” she said. Other issues likely to get attention, she said, are clean energy, housing availability and provision of water to the many new developments taking shape.

The June 28 primary will serve to narrow the GOP field for each commission race from two to one, with the winner moving on to the Nov. 8 ballot. Thompson, the Democratic seat A hopeful, and Rowley, the Libertarian seat B candidate, are already assured spots on the November ballot.

Weber County Republican Party forums: The three forums sponsored by the Republican Party here are set for June 2, 14 and 23 and they all start at 6:30 p.m.

The June 2 forum will be at the Pleasant Valley Branch library in Washington Terrace, 5568 Adams Ave. The Republican hopefuls for the seat A and seat B County Commission posts along with the two Republican hopefuls for the Weber County clerk-auditor’s seat, incumbent Ricky Hatch and Toby Mileski, will be the featured candidates.

Jake Sawyer, chairperson of the Republican Party here, said event organizers will put a series of questions to the candidates, who will sit in front of those who attend.

The June 14 and 23 events will be more informal, with participating candidates setting up booths so voters can speak with them one-on-one.

The June 14 event will be at the North Branch library, 475 E. 2600 North in North Ogden. The Weber County hopefuls will be invited as well as the GOP hopefuls for the District 5 Utah Senate seat, incumbent Ann Millner and Douglas Durbano. Also invited will be the GOP hopefuls for the three Utah House seats — District 8 candidates Jason Kyle and Kimberly Cozzens, District 10 hopefuls Jill Koford and Lorraine Brown, and District 11 hopefuls Kelly Miles, the incumbent, and Katy Hall.

The June 23 event will be held at the Southwest Branch library at 2039 W. 4000 South, Roy. Participating candidates, as with the North Ogden event, will set up booths and speak with voters one-on-one. Invited will be the Republican 1st District U.S. House hopefuls, incumbent Blake Moore, Tina Cannon and Andrew Badger, as well as the varied GOP hopefuls from Davis County. The varied Republican candidates from Weber County are also invited.

Primary ballots are to be sent to registered voters in early June.

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