This archived article was written by: Kris Kohler
The residents of Eastern Utah will elect a new senator to represent them after Sen. Mike Dmitrich announced his retirement this year.
David Hinkins from Emery County is running for the republican spot. According to public officials, Hinkins has the support from the energy industry personnel and is all for freeing up the public land for the citizens who live there.
According to Hinkins, the top priority on his list is to focus on traditional family life, something that he believes has weakened our nation drastically over the years. Hinkins is traditional in his beliefs; he is also a supporter of strengthening the highway systems, especially ongoing improvements to U.S. Highway 6.
“The highway systems in the region have steadily gotten better over the last 10 years and will definitely keep improving,” Hinkins said. “My main focus is to bring industry into the region. Environmentalist groups in the United States have made it a burden for industry in the southeastern region for years, this is something that I hope to change if elected.”
“I feel that this part of the state needs to be represented by a republican for a change,” said Hinkins. “It’s hard to get things done in a republican state when only one region is going against the grain. I feel that as the republican representative, I will be able to collaborate with the Republican Party in order to accomplish goals that would otherwise have no chance.”
According to Hinkins, a four year chance to make a difference is his current mind set.
“I am not looking down the road 30 years,” said Hinkins. “All I want is four years to try to make a difference.”
Hinkins’ opponent is 12-year veteran Representative Brad King, the democratic house whip leader, who shares many of the same goals with his republican opponent.
According to King, further improvements to Highway 6 are at the top of his list and have been for many years.
“The recent budget cuts may seem high at a glance but when looking at the whole state budget and all of the economic factors involved, the situation here in Price is not nearly as bad as it could have been,” said King. “There is a good chance that Utah’s current economic status may very well improve by this year’s legislative sessions. The last thing on my or anyone at CEU’s agenda is the loss of valuable programs or employees.”
According to King, the senator position will, if elected, make it easier to get things done on Capital Hill than his current representative position.
According to both King and Hinkins, the addition of energy-related educational programs will be vital for the future of the Western Energy Training Center (WETC). Both candidates also agree that a stronger partnership between CEU and Utah State University will be vital for both institutions and play a major role in the states higher education system.
According to local officials, biggest question in this election will be whether or not the Southeastern region of Utah holds its current democratic stance or goes along with the rest of the states conservative position.
According to many Price citizens, this election will play a major role in this region’s future economically.