Joshua Kyler Hoggan officially kicked off his mayoral campaign Monday afternoon at Roy City Hall.
The 18-year-old now studies political science at Weber State University, but in April 2012 he pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon of mass destruction in connection to a foiled bomb scheme at Roy High School.
Hoggan served time in juvenile detention and now hopes to leave that part of his life in the past.
In a phone interview, Hoggan said there was no substance to the bomb plot that snared him and fellow student Dallin Morgan in serious legal trouble in 2012.
“The plan was nothing more than childish ramblings of a troubled teenager,” Hoggan said.
Hoggan was not identified in previous stories because it is The Salt Lake Tribune’s policy not to identify juveniles charged with crimes. However, he now is an adult running for public office, so the newspaper considers his plea public information as his past offense has surfaced as an issue in the race.
Hoggan said his candidacy is not an attention-seeking stunt, but a legitimate bid to put the city on a more progressive track.
“It’s time to make a change and to look at where Roy could be in the future,” Hoggan told The Tribune Monday, adding that the northern Utah city has no place to expand.
“When you’re out of room, you need to cut back on costs — and green technology is exactly where we need to be,” Hoggan said.
Hoggan also advocates more government transparency and finding other ways to maintain Class C roads besides the gasoline tax.
On KNRS Radio, Hoggan told host Rod Arquette that his campaign slogan is “Looking forward.”
When asked if his age might be a drawback in the race, Hoggan said that “youthfulness is the new experience,” adding that younger people are often more familiar with technology, green initiatives and how to make do in the new age.
Hoggan’s Facebook page describes his views as moderate:
“Hoggan is a young, fiscally centric social libertarian-leaning politician hailing from Roy, UT, who aspires to push our community, our state, and our nation in the right direction.”
He also can be found on Twitter, @joshuahoggan, and will go live with a campaign website, hoggan.org by week’s end. In the coming weeks, he plans to campaign door-to-door in Roy, a city he described as very diverse.
“We have all kinds in Roy, and all kinds should have a say,” Hoggan said.
Hoggan faces off against two-term incumbent Mayor Joe Ritchie and City Councilman Willard Cragun. One candidate will be eliminated in the Aug. 13 primary.