Incumbent Ray Ward faces GOP primary challenge from Hartman in House District 19

Ray Ward, who has represented Davis County since 2015, is in a Republican primary race against businesswoman Tenna Hartman.

Incumbent Raymond Ward is running against Republican businesswoman Tenna Hartman to serve House District 19.

The district encompasses southern Davis County including Bountiful, West Bountiful and the northwest corner of Woods Cross. Ward, also a Republican, has held the seat since 2015.

The Salt Lake Tribune sent six questions to 50 candidates across 23 races scheduled for June 25. The Tribune gave these candidates a deadline and word limit, and informed candidates that their answers may be edited for clarity and length. Hartman did not respond; Ward did.

1. Utah’s largest electricity provider has canceled plans to replace its coal-fired power plants with nuclear power and has walked back comments about investing in clean energy.

Should Utah, while it actively supports housing and business development, also be looking for more sustainable and less fossil fuel and carbon-dependent energy sources?

Ray Ward: I support being an “all of the above” state. We should not cut off our current fossil fuel energy supply in a way that damages us, but we should continue to invest in new sources of energy that reduce production of CO2. Examples of this would be the IPP-renewed plant currently under construction (which starts as natural gas, but with the ability to blend in hydrogen as a fuel source), geo-thermal (of which we have a federal grant for one of the largest facilities in the country) and nuclear. More wind and solar is great, but they need to be coupled with national permitting reform so that we can build the transmission lines to get that power from where it is cheap to produce to where we need it.

Tenna Hartman: Did not respond.

2. Yes or no: Is climate change negatively impacting Utah?

Ray Ward: The planet is warmer now than it used to be because of heat trapped by CO2 and methane. This is negatively impacting the planet and the impact is likely to become greater over time unless we can find some way to get the energy we need without continuing to put more of these emissions into the atmosphere.

Tenna Hartman: Did not respond.

3. Water scarcity continues to be a challenge for the state. Recent legislation has attempted to conserve water and get more to the Great Salt Lake and Colorado River.

Should Utah do more to subsidize homeowners to conserve water? Should laws require large users to pay more for water? What other steps should state government take to deal with water scarcity?

Ray Ward: The first step is to get to where everyone pays a fair share for what they use. The Legislature has committed a large amount of funding towards secondary water meters, which will allow this to happen. Widespread installation of these meters is underway, but will take several years to complete. The next step needs to be better follow-up of the money that we have already committed to spend on the meters and agricultural optimization to make sure that these programs are functioning as intended. It doesn’t make sense to me to talk about charging certain users more for water before we even have the ability to accurately measure who is using how much.

Tenna Hartman: Did not respond.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Raymond Ward, R-Bountiful, in 2021.

4. Yes or no: Do you support building the Lake Powell Pipeline?

Ray Ward: (Did not give a “yes or no” answer.) The state is currently involved in negotiations with the other western states that get some of their water from the Colorado River. I think we should come to a conclusion in those negotiations first, so we have agreement on how much water we estimate is actually available from the Colorado River and have a plan for who will be required to take which cuts if it runs short. And after we are clear about those things, then decide whether it makes sense to build the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Tenna Hartman: Did not respond.

5. Triggered after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, Utah’s current law bans nearly all abortions — except in instances of sexual crimes, when there is a fatal fetal abnormality, when the mother’s life is at risk. For now, that law is currently on hold in the courts and an 18-week ban is active in Utah.

More or fewer: Should Utah’s trigger law have more or fewer restrictions?

Ray Ward: I support the trigger law as written. It outlaws elective abortions, but has important exceptions for the life and health of the mother, and in cases of rape and incest, and when the fetus is found to have a fatal anomaly. I also support the idea that women should have basic medical services available to them during their pregnancies for their own health and for the health of their child.

Tenna Hartman: Did not respond.

6. For or against: Are you voting for or against the constitutional amendment that removes the requirement that income taxes be used for education and social services?

Ray Ward: I support this amendment and hope it passes. I also think it is fair that the final decision on the issue is by a vote of the people rather than just the Legislature, so I’m glad it is on the ballot. I think funding our schools should continue to be an important priority. I am proud of the funding increases made over recent years that have moved Utah from having the lowest starting teacher salary, compared to our surrounding states, to having the highest starting teacher salary among that group of states.

Tenna Hartman: Did not respond.

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