For those Utahns upset about something from the past legislative session, there is a way to fix what happened.
Run for office.
The candidate filing deadline is Thursday, March 15, so get on it.
Utah’s Elections Office has prepared a comprehensive and easy-to-follow 2018 Candidate Manual with detailed instructions on what you need to qualify and run for office in Utah.
Those candidates filing for United States Senate or United States House of Representatives must file in person in the state Elections Office in the Capitol.
Candidates running for the state Legislature, county positions or school board must file in person in their county clerk’s office.
All candidates must submit a declaration of candidacy form and a financial disclosure/conflict of interest form. Candidates can also choose to submit a pledge of fair campaign practices form.
And of course, since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there are filing fees to run for office, and some of them are quite high. For instance, if you want to file for district attorney in Salt Lake County, it will cost you $903.58. State Legislature fees are comparably quite reasonable, with a run for Senate costing only $111.43 and House $80.71.
After you file, you have three ways to get on the ballot: (1) win the party nomination at its convention, (2) gather signatures from voters, or (3) participate in the party convention and gather signatures from voters.
Signature candidates must declare their intent to gather signatures. The Elections Office website has the number of signatures each candidate is required to obtain.
Those who sign petitions must be registered to vote in Utah, live in the district of the office the candidate is seeking, be eligible to vote in the party’s primary and not have signed another petition for the same office.
Some high-profile legislators have already announced they are not running for reelection, including Democrat Sen. Jim Dabakis and Republican Rep. Mike Noel. But even if an incumbent is running, the more candidates in the race, the broader the dialogue becomes.
Many have forecast that 2018 will be the Year of the Female Candidate. So far, no women have filed for U.S. Senate and only two have filed for U.S. House, including incumbent Rep. Mia Love. In the Utah legislative races, seven women have filed for the Senate and 18 women have filed for the House. That is 35 percent and 21 percent, respectively, of those who had filed in those categories as of Monday morning. Hopefully those numbers will increase by the filing deadline on Thursday.
If you find yourself complaining about who represents you in government, step up and run.
You have until 5 p.m. Thursday.