Appointed legislator challenged
PROVO - For Provo attorney Claralyn Hill, the final straw was seeing Republican Chris Herrod appointed to fill a vacant House seat even though he earned fewer votes in a GOP runoff.
However, instead of merely complaining about the secret process that allowed Herrod to take Jeff Alexander's seat last year without standing for election, Hill has decided to challenge Herrod this year.
"We need to get a little more balance," Hill said Tuesday after announcing her Democratic candidacy at the Provo City Library.
Hill, a lawyer who has previously worked as a guardian ad litem and a member of the United Way of Utah County's executive committee, said the GOP's dominance in Utah has made it less willing to listen not only to opposing voices but also to loyal constituents.
She pointed to the way Herrod became a representative.
Herrod was one of several candidates who filed to replace Alexander when the latter resigned in late 2006. When neither Herrod nor John Curtis could garner 60 percent of GOP delegate votes, their names were submitted to then-state Republican Party Chairwoman Enid Greene, who chose Herrod even though he got fewer delegate votes than Curtis.
Herrod defends his appointment. "Those were the rules," he said, noting Democrats follow a similar process.
Herrod also challenges Hill's assertion that he does not represent the views of northeast Provo's District 62, noting that it was one of the few places in Utah where voters supported school vouchers. Hill vows to promote affordable health care, fight substance abuse, improve education and transportation, and sponsor ethics reform.
"We expect Utah to have the most ethical government in the nation," said Hill, wife of Ned Hill, dean of Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management.
* Former Highland City Councilwoman Gwyn Franson will run for Rep. John Dougall's seat in House District 27.
* Steven Baugh, former Alpine school superintendent, will seek Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's seat in House District 58.
* Former Weber State University President Paul Thompson will run for Rep. Lorie Fowlke's seat in House District 59.
* Retired Alpine schoolteacher Boyd McAffee will seek Rep. Brad Daw's seat in House District 60.
* Provo citywide PTA President Deon Turley will run for Rep. Keith Grover's seat in House District 61.
* Provo attorney Claralyn Hill is challenging Rep. Chris Herrod in House District 62.
* Retired BYU administrator Don Jarvis will run for Rep. Steve Clark's seat in House District 63.
* Kenneth Peay, former Utah Highway Patrol commander in Utah County, will seek Sen. Mark Madsen's seat in Senate District 13.