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Monday, October 3, 2005
Party Affiliations of Local Candidates

City elections in American Fork are non-partisan, and in Utah's one-sided polity that's probably a good thing. Not that it means much, but I thought it might be fun to check the voter registration data I got from the County a few weeks ago, to see how the various candidates are registered. As you see below, there are no registered Democrats. Most are registered Republicans, and the rest are "unaffiliated."

People choose "unaffiliated" for a variety of reasons. Some don't like political parties. Some don't want their support taken for granted. Some are still looking for a party that fits their views. Some simply value their privacy. Some realize that the unaffiliated voters get more attention from campaigns and polls than the rest, and like the attention. Some, perhaps, want to conceal their inclinations. At least one on this list would have registered Republican in any other state, but thinks the Utah Republican Party is off its rocker (as in, seriously and unreasonably skewed to the right). But I don't pretend to know or explain any specific case here.

For what it's worth, as of sometime in September, this fall's candidates were registered as follows:

For Mayor, a four-year term:

  • George E. Brown, Jr. (Republican)
  • Shirl Don LeBaron (Republican)
  • Heber Thompson (Republican)

For City Council, to fill two four-year seats:

  • Juel Andersen Belmont (incumbent) (Republican)
  • Jimmie Cates (incumbent) (Republican)
  • Andy Dobmann (Republican)
  • Terry V. Fox (Republican)
  • Rulon S. Jensen (unaffiliated)
  • Lowell Magneson (unaffiliated)
  • Robert Palfreyman (Republican)
  • Heidi Rodeback (unaffiliated)
  • Harold M. Smith (Republican)

For City Council, to fill the remaining two years of Councilman Tom Hunter's term:

  • Marc J. Ellison (Republican)
  • Dale O. Gunther (Republican)
  • Karl Peterson (Republican)
  • Colin T. Strasburg (unaffiliated)

Heidi Rodeback writes (10/05/05):

Personally, the reason I didn't register Republican is because I feared the Utah electorate was too complacent. I worried, perhaps unjustly, that Utah voters would rubber-stamp anything the Republicans put on the ballot -- even a peanut butter sandwich with cheese and mustard.

If there were more swing voters, I reasoned, then the Utah Republicans would have to work a little harder and a little smarter.

The hope is that, ultimately, the party will benefit and the conservative cause will roll forward.

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