Sen. Daniel Thatcher eyes Dave Alvord’s seat on Salt Lake County Council in 2024 election

The West Valley GOP senator says that he wants to focus on local issues that the Legislature often ignores.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, speaks at the Utah Legislature in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 25, 2022. Thatcher will run for Salt Lake County Council in 2024.

West Valley Republican Daniel Thatcher says he’s ready to give up his seat in the Utah Senate if it means voters will elect him to the Salt Lake County Council this year. He’s eyeing the seat currently held by council member Dave Alvord.

Thatcher, who has represented the west side of Salt Lake County in the Senate since 2010, told The Salt Lake Tribune that he wants to focus on local issues that the Legislature often ignores.

“On a state level, there are so many broader issues that require time and attention that many of the smaller problems in this part of the state seem to be neglected,” Thatcher said Wednesday. “My community needs that more personal attention right now, and I feel I’m the best person to give it.”

If he’s elected this fall, Thatcher will have to resign his seat in the Utah Senate. State GOP would then need to elect a new senator to fill the seat until the 2026 election.

Thatcher has recently tangled with other members of the Senate Republican Caucus on several heated issues. In 2022, he was one of two Republicans in the Senate to vote against overriding Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto of HB11, which banned transgender athletes from participating in girls’ athletics. Last year, he had a minor medical scare on the Senate floor after giving an impassioned speech against a bill to prohibit gender-affirming care for transgender minors. He also voted against the massive tax reform package passed by the Legislature in 2019.

Thatcher says he has recovered after suffering a stroke in 2022.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Council member Dave Alvord shakes hands with people gathered inside the Salt Lake County Government Center chamber on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, to protest the recent mask mandate issued by the Salt Lake County Health Department and Mayor Jenny Wilson.

Alvord, the former mayor of South Jordan, hasn’t shied from controversy during his tenure on the council.

In 2022, he suggested a fetus is not part of a mother’s body, saying falsely that an umbilical cord and placenta are not directly connected to a woman. More recently, he’s championed proposals by the county council to restrict transgender patrons’ use of county recreation center locker rooms.

“I have not officially filed for reelection. Whether I run myself or support another candidate, I strongly encourage delegates and primary voters to examine the voting record of Sen. Thatcher. He has proven to be a consistent thorn in the side of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. As they say in Latin: Caveat emptor!”

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