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Who should be The Tribune’s Utahn of the Year? Cast your vote now

Hall of Famer Karl Malone was the first, way back in 1997, for his MVP play on the basketball court.

Former Brigham Young University student Madi Barney was the latest for her pre-#MeToo fight against campus sexual assaults.

But who will be the next … Utahn of the Year?

You can weigh in on that question before The Salt Lake Tribune’s editors make their pick for 2017.

Here’s a list of possible contenders. Cast your vote or supply some nominees of your own. And, remember, the award is a recognition of a newsmaker’s influence or impact — for good or ill — and not necessarily a reward for honorable deeds done.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) The new United Utah Party State Party Chairman Richard Davis speaks to a small gathering as the party held its first Salt Lake County convention to elect county officers.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) Jim Bennett speaks to reporters during a news conference at the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City.

Jim Bennett and Richard Davis • The two Utahns — one a former Republican, the other an ex-Democrat and both disillusioned with the increasingly partisan divide — helped form a new political force: the United Utah Party. It’s still in its infancy, but Bennett did collect nearly 10 percent of the vote in the year’s special congressional election.

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Dine Bikeyah board member Jonah Yellowman listens as Utah Dine Bikeyah chairman Willie Grayeyes answers questions during a stop at the Urban Indian Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

Dine Bikeyah • This tribal organization planted the seeds for a Bears Ears National Monument, a fight that now finds itself locked in a legal battle pitting the powers of competing presidents.

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jan Chamberlin poses for a portrait at her home in American Fork on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.

Jan Chamberlin • Even before Donald Trump was sworn in, she raised her voice against the newly elected president by refusing to use her voice. A singer in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, she resigned from the world-renowned group rather than perform at his Inauguration Day events.

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Figure skating athlete Nathan Chen poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit at the Grand Summit Hotel in Canyons Village on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

Nathan Chen • His biggest moment may come early in 2018 if he spins, jumps and salchows his way to Olympic gold in men’s figure skating. But his rise on the national stage already shows the payoff — in personal terms — of Utah’s investment in winter sports way back before it hosted the 2002 Games.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Spencer Cox, 42, says returning to Fairview and its values — both in his daily commute, and in some longer journeys away during his lifetime — keeps him grounded, and frees him to do unexpected things for an up-and-coming Utah GOP politician. Cox and the family dog, Midnight, ready the 14-acre farm for winter with members of his family.

Spencer Cox • The state’s small-town lieutenant governor took on big challenges during the year, especially as the governor’s point person in Utah’s stepped-up battle against homelessness.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) John Curtis, Republican candidate for 3rd Congressional District, celebrates his win at the Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. The winner of the November special election will fill the congressional seat recently vacated by Jason Chaffetz.

John Curtis • Provo’s mayor fended off his Republican rivals and trounced his general election foes to become Utah’s newest congressman, replacing Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Dreamers • Donald Trump ended President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, putting hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers” at risk of deportation — unless Congress acts — to lands that truly are foreign to them.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Justice Justice Christine Durham is retiring after 35 years on the Utah Supreme Court. She poses for a photo in the Utah Supreme Court, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017.

Christine Durham • The respected Utah Supreme Court justice retired after a trailblazing career that left a legal legacy unparalleled in state history.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Center Rudy Gobert. Utah Jazz portrait photos from Media Day before the 2016-17 season.

Rudy Gobert • With superstar Gordon Hayward’s exit, the 7-foot, shot-blocking Frenchman towers over not only the rest of the Utah Jazz roster but also the state’s sports landscape as its most visible pro athlete (though rookie Donovan Mitchell is certainly on the rise).

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by Sen. Orrin Hatch at the Utah Capitol on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, to sign a presidential proclamation to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Orrin Hatch • The “will he or won’t he” question loomed large as Utah’s elder statesman repeatedly stopped just short of saying certainly, definitely, unequivocally he would run for an eighth term. But the senior senator loomed even larger on Capitol Hill as he steered a major tax overhaul through the Senate and persuaded the president to come to Utah and shrink two national monuments.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mayor Ben McAdams jokes with House Speaker Greg Hughes on the current efforts to move eligible Operation Rio Grande arrestees out of jail and into treatment, during a news conference at the First Step House, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017.

Greg Hughes and Ben McAdams • The Utah House speaker and Salt Lake County mayor (who even went undercover) broke out of the pack to head up an all-hands, bipartisan fight against homelessness and lawlessness in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande District. Will their call to action succeed? The answer is … on hold.

Ryan McKnight

Ryan McKnight • Mormonism’s Julian Assange peeled back the veil a bit on the inner workings of Utah’s most powerful institution: the LDS Church. Perhaps the biggest revelation from his MormonLeaks website was a peek at how much LDS apostles are paid.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Peter Metcalf, president of Black Diamond CEO, addresses the crowd as lawmakers and environmental and public lands advocates rally against the public lands transfer in the Capitol Rotunda, Monday, March 2, 2015

Peter Metcalf • The founder of gear maker Black Diamond was the Utah face to the recreation industry’s backlash against the state’s public lands positions — a duel that, in the end, prompted the Outdoor Retailer trade shows to bolt from the Beehive State and take their convention riches with them.

#MeToo • Never before has a two-word hashtag set off such a cascading torrent of revelations about the extent of sexual assault and harassment, sending ripples through Hollywood and Washington, corporate boardrooms and school classrooms while setting off debates in the grandest halls of power and the humblest living rooms of the powerless.

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gail Miller poses for a portrait at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016.

Gail Miller • Utah’s richest person has become a driving force for social good, striving to erase poverty, reduce homelessness, educate young people, advance scientific discovery and more. Oh, and her family completed a major upgrade to the arena housing the state’s most popular professional sports franchise: the Utah Jazz.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, greets Invited guests arriving at the Utah Capitol as U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.

Mike Noel • For years, the southern Utah legislator has been the state’s tenacious anchor in the tug of war over public lands. This year, he has a real victory to hang a cowboy hat on after President Donald Trump downsized two national monuments.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Savannah says a few words as she stands on stage with her mother, Heather Kester, at the LoveLoud Festival at Brent Brown Ballpark at UVU campus Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017.

Savannah • The brave 13-year-old from Eagle Mountain became an internet sensation after coming out as a lesbian while bearing her testimony during a Mormon sacrament meeting. She drew big cheers at Orem’s LoveLoud concert that raised funds for LGBTQ groups.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks at the women's session of the 187th Semiannual General Conference of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Salt Lake City, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf • Mormonism’s “Pope Francis” is consistently the voice that members and nonmembers alike look forward to hearing — whether in conference sermons or civic gatherings.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) l-r Attorney J. D. Lauritzen, William J. Hansen, Alex Wubbels and her Attorney Karra Porter, right, said at a Tuesday news conference that nurse Alex Wubbels, has settled with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah for a sum of $500,000 and that Wubbels plans to set up a program to provide funds to the public seeking police body camera footage. Wubbels was arrested July 26 after she refused to allow Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne to draw blood from an unconscious patient involved in a fiery crash in Cache County earlier in the day. The arrest drew widespread condemnation after Porter released police body camera and hospital security footage of the encounter on Aug. 31.

Alex Wubbels • The University of Utah nurse made international headlines after her wrongful arrest for, essentially, doing her job and upholding her occupational oath. And she did so throughout the subsequent fallout with resolve, grace and dignity.


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