The newly completed Carbon County Courthouse Commission Chambers was full Thursday night as the Republican Party of Carbon County held its annual party convention.
The meeting gave previously elected county delegates the opportunity to vote for those participating in the county-wide race. It also was open to the public and gave them a chance to hear from others involved in the party and political race this year.
The sole participant in the county’s republican race was Casey Hopes. Hopes, who has previously served one four-year term as commissioner for the state from 2013-2016, took the opportunity to speak to attendees after he was chosen as the republican candidate for the general election.
“Four years ago when I ran, my slogan was, ‘It’s not hard to make a decision when you know what your values are,’” Hopes explained, quoting Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy Disney. “Today I stand with the same situation and I still hold those values. It’s very important that we move forward with honesty and integrity and have an open and public forum for people to learn and understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing the things we’re doing.”
Hopes relayed much of what he has seen happen in the previous years of his service, including a pavement project in nine mile canyon, the building of a new soccer complex, the securing of funds for low-lying reservoirs for the area, a new county website, the building of a new Holiday Inn Express, the Price River Terminal in Wellington as well as the announcement of 200 new jobs in the field of technology for the area.
“A lot of you know about the port in Oakland, which will secure mining opportunities for our miners and our people in this community for a long time to come,” Hopes continued, alluding to the work done on the project. He also mentioned a pipeline from Carbon to Duchesne County to help the transfer of crude oil as well as other projects with coal.
James Evans, the Utah State Chairman for the Republican Party, asked attendees what motivated delegates to become involved in the political scheme.
“The general trend that I’m sensing here is that you’ve just kind of had enough,” Evans said. Evans then called upon those concerned to turn to the platforms of local, state and national parties to learn more and become involved in the political scheme.
The rest of the night was devoted to both representatives and candidates in other races including US Senate, Governor, Attorney General, US House of Representative, State Treasurer, State Auditor, US Senate District 27 and House of Representatives for House 69.
“I know that the Wasatch Front is experiencing a healthy economy,” expressed Republican candidate hopeful for governor Jonathan Johnson, “But I also know that much of rural Utah is still suffering and I think the primary reason it’s suffering is because we haven’t been aggressive in trying to transfer the public lands.”
Johnson also promised to not exclude rural Utah during his service. “We don’t need a governor who fights for just the Wasatch front,” Johnson explained. “I will be that governor.”
Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox spoke at the event in behalf of the second candidate hopeful, current Utah Governor Gary Herbert.
Cox expressed his love for rural Utah as well as Governor Herbert’s stand on several items.
“You know this better than anybody; but we’re fighting a war on coal right now and I’m so proud that Governor Herbert and myself are standing at the head of that fight against the war on coal,” he said. “This is personal to me, and we are going to fix it.
“I can tell you that nobody, nobody has fought harder for our federal lands than our governor,” he continued. “We’re going to get our lands back and we’re going to do it for the state of Utah.”
Other hopefuls who spoke included Dr. Chia-Chi Teng and a representative for Congressman Jason Chaffetz, each vying for the republican nominee in Utah’s third congressional district. Christine Watkins and Jerry Anderson are both running for the republican candidate in District 69 for the House of Representatives. The third nominee, Will James Hicken, was not present.