Lisa Dean wants to replace Rep. Ken Ivory in the Utah House. Here’s her views on water, abortion and energy.

Ahead of the Utah House District 39 Republican primary election, Ivory did not respond to question sent by The Tribune to about his views on top state issues.

The 2024 primary election marks the first time in his more than a decade in the Utah Legislature that Republican Rep. Ken Ivory has faced a challenger. He handily won the delegate vote at this year’s Salt Lake County GOP convention, but Jordan School District Board of Education member Lisa Dean was able to collect enough signatures to force Ivory into the primary.

Ivory was first elected in 2010 but resigned in 2019 to take a job with a Utah-based company that won a lucrative state contract that he helped win approval from the Legislature before he resigned. He was re-appointed to his old seat after former Rep. Steve Christiansen stepped down unexpectedly in 2021.

Dean was elected to the Jordan School District Board in 2022. She graduated from BYU and served in the Utah National Guard.

1. 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? (150 word max)

Lisa Dean: In addition to encouraging innovation in sustainable energy, it’s worth noting that while I support the continued utilization of fossil fuels, I also recognize the evolving landscape of our economy and the necessity of exploring alternative energy routes. Embracing diverse energy sources ensures adaptability in a changing market and promotes resilience in the face of shifting economic and environmental dynamics. By fostering a multifaceted approach to energy production, Utah can position itself as a leader in both traditional and emerging energy sectors, maximizing opportunities for economic growth while mitigating environmental impact.

Ken Ivory:Declined to answer.

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

Lisa Dean: This is more complicated than a simple yes or no response. My answer is that sometimes the extreme variations in weather impact us negatively, sometimes positively, and usually a combination of both.

Ken Ivory: Declined to answer.

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? (150 words max)

Lisa Dean: While I love Rip the Strip and similar initiatives in the state, the water conserved by residents replacing their lawns with water wise landscaping does not significantly affect our water supply, so it is probably not the most effective wat to conserve water. Water districts should move toward recharging aquifers as a means of water conservation. Provo City stores enough water to serve the city’s needs for 15 years by regularly recharging its aquifers. This is how water has been conserved in arid regions throughout the world for generations.

Ken Ivory: Declined to answer.

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

Lisa Dean: I believe there are better options than a pipeline.

Ken Ivory: Declined to answer.

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 or 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?

Lisa Dean: As a staunch advocate for the sanctity of life, I firmly believe in the inherent value of human life. The complex reality of abortion requires a more nuanced approach than simply imposing more restrictions. Outlawing abortion does not eliminate the demand for it. To truly reduce the number of abortions, we must address the underlying issues that lead women to consider this option in the first place. I am in favor of broadening resources and creating comprehensive support systems for women and their families. By fostering an environment where women feel supported and empowered, we can reduce the perceived need for abortion.

Ken Ivory: Declined to answer.

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?

Lisa Dean: I will be voting against the amendment because I do not want the public education earmark removed from the state income tax. At the same time, I do not think the earmark influences how much the legislature appropriates to public education in the state. It is not a badge of honor that Utah is consistently among states with the lowest per student funding by its legislature. The state legislature already ties things to education in order to use the income tax and also seems to feel very generous about its per pupil funding (WPU)

Ken Ivory: Declined to answer.

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