Clearfield’s mayor is casting a vision for immigration reform and deep federal budget cuts as he jumps into the contest for outgoing Rep. Rob Bishop’s congressional seat.
Mark Shepherd, a Realtor and two-term mayor, was set to announce his Republican campaign in a Layton kickoff event Wednesday night.
“[I]t’s time to bring Utah’s fiscally conservative values to Washington, D.C.,” he said in a prepared statement. “I will work to drive a balanced budget so that our country is living within its means.”
Shepherd said he will also try to rebuild and "reimagine" the nation's aging roads and bridges and protect the country's military bases.
His campaign website argues that the United States has a right to secure its borders but should also live up to the message etched onto the Statue of Liberty, which speaks of inviting the world’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Shepherd grew up in New Mexico and has lived in Clearfield for 22 years. He spent about nine years on the Clearfield planning commission and six years on the City Council before becoming mayor of the Davis County city.
Prior to entering real estate, he worked for a Mexican frozen food producer, Caterpillar and the finance and insurance company AIG. He founded Shepherd Real Estate Group several years ago, according to a news release.
Gov. Gary Herbert appointed him to the Military Installation Development Authority, and he is also serving as honorary commander of the 466th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base.
He and Tammie, his wife of 30 years, have seven children and three grandchildren.
The race for the open seat to represent Utah’s 1st Congressional District has already drawn several other Republicans, including Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt, Morgan County Councilwoman Tina Cannon and veteran Cory Green, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery in 2010. Democrat Jamie Cheek is also in the running.