OGDEN — Three candidates are running for the District 10 Utah House seat, but only two names — those of Republican Lorraine Brown and Democrat LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff — will be on the ballot.
Terry Schow, a Republican and the third hopeful, is waging a write-in campaign, meaning backers will have to write his name on a blank line on the ballot to vote for him.
It creates a different vibe, giving hope to Shurtliff backers that the dual Republican candidacies will dilute the GOP vote, benefitting the Democrat. But all three keep a focus on the issues, not the dynamics of a three-way race.
Brown, an Ogden lawyer who won the GOP primary last June, puts a focus on what she says is an “expanding income and opportunity gap” between the rich and poor and the “spiraling cost” of higher education, housing and medical care.
“My sense, as I’ve talked to hundreds of voters in Weber County, is that these are their primary concerns as well,” she said in an email.
Shurtliff, who held the District 10 seat from 1999 through 2008, said her focuses, broadly speaking, are bolstering education and working to stem domestic violence. More specifically, she singled out the need to help the Weber County economy.
The lion’s share of job-creation opportunities, she said, seem to get directed to Utah and Salt Lake counties “and many times, Weber County is not recognized,” a trend she’d like to counter, she said.
Schow, former executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, said key focuses would be keeping taxes low and supporting education. A better educated workforce will draw in higher-paying jobs.
Bolstering education doesn’t have to entail increased state funding. Augmenting the tax base, too, can help. “If we can bring in more business, that, in turn, brings in more revenue,” he said. Part of his campaign revolves around educating voters how to vote for a write-in candidates — filling in the oval beside the blank line in the section for District 10 candidates and writing Schow’s name on the line.
Brown beat Schow in the June Republican primary by a 57-43 margin, but in light of the relatively small pool of voters who cast ballots and prodding from supporters, Schow decided he’d wage a write-in bid. Election Day is Nov. 6 and no matter who wins, the district gets a new representative. Dixon Pitcher, finishing his fifth two-year term, is not seeking re-election.
District 10 covers parts of southern Ogden and South Ogden.
TAXES, EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE
Brown offers up an agenda heavy on helping those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, reforming education and keeping the environment clean, all without boosting taxes. She’d aim to improve the quality of education and make housing and medical care more affordable “while containing taxes,” she said.
She’d push for higher wages for teachers and improved access to early childhood education. She’d work to narrow the gender gap in pay. “I favor tax reform that incentivizes compassion and spreads the tax burden fairly,” she said.
Shurtliff, a retired teacher who taught for more than 30 years, mainly at Ogden High School, emphasizes her ability to work with Democrats and Republicans.
“I’m moderate. I’m very moderate,” she said. “I work across the aisle very well.”
Having held the District 10 seat, she also singles out her legislative experience. She decided to forego a reelection bid to the District 10 seat after her term that ended in 2008, wanting to travel more. With the passing of her husband, she decided she’d give politics another try.
“I felt good and (supporters) asked me to run. I checked with my family and they said, ‘Go for it,’” Shurtliff said.
Schow, who served in the U.S. Army and has extensive experience working with military veterans, cited his operational style, his ability to work with others. “I’m a consensus guy. I think we get far more done through having partnerships and collaborations,” he said.
He also noted his years working in government, including stints with the Utah Department of Workforce Services and the Utah Department of Human Services, and his experience in his varied capacities in working with Utah lawmakers.
Brown has had the biggest pool of funds to draw from.
She has garnered $40,913 in contributions in all in the election cycle through Sept. 26 and had $9,423 on hand, according to election reports filed with the state. Earlier in the campaign, she funneled nearly $19,000 of her own money into her effort while in the most current reporting period, since mid-June, she’s only put in $313. Top donors in the latest cycle included the Utah House Republican Election Committee, $5,000; the Weber County Republican Party, $3,000; and six other donors who gave $1,000 each.
Shurtliff, who didn’t have to wage a primary campaign, unlike her Republican opponents, had raised $15,456 and $8,557 remained as of Sept. 26. Her biggest donors were the Utah Women and Politics Political Action Committee, $6,000, and two other contributors who gave $1,000 each.
Schow had raised $18,873 and had only $124 left. His wife, June Schow, provided the biggest chunk of funding in the latest cycle, $5,516 in loans.