The final installment of KOAL’s Meet the Candidates took place at the Carbon High School library, in front of a live audience, on Tuesday evening. This week’s segment featured Senator David Hinkins, from Sentate District 27, and opposing candidate Heidi Redd.
A coin was tossed at the beginning of the evening, landing in Redd’s favor. She was then given two minutes to introduce herself. Redd is a native of San Juan County and has been a cattle rancher for 50 years. In her business, Redd has worked with federal and state agencies as well as local, giving her a familiarity with the agency business. She has also been the president of the San Juan Cattle Association and the vice president of the State Cattle Association. Redd also stated that she has worked with the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). She is currently a member of the board of the Utah Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City. According to Redd, she believes that sometimes when members of the state legislature stay in office too long, they lose some of their productiveness and vigor.
Hinkins was then also given two minutes to introduce himself to the audience and listeners. Currently, Hinkins resides in Ferron. He was born and raised in Orangeville and also lived in East Carbon for some time. He started a business 40 years ago that services coal mines and is named Industrial Electrical Motor Service. Hinkins admits that the current war on coal and plants have been devastating to his business. In his town of Ferron alone, around 70 homes have been listed for sale due to job loss. His wife was raised in Sunnyside, where her mother still resides. He and his wife have four children and 14 grandchildren.
A number of questions were submitted to the radio station for the candidates to answer. The first question asked was, “What project would you work on first for this area?”
Redd answered that the biggest problem, in her opinion, is that the economic benefits stop at the Wasatch Front. She believes that it’s time that rural Utah started getting some notice and assistance with economic development.
“It’s important to start looking at rural Utah as not just a playground for northern Utah,” Redd stated.
Hinkins answered the same question by stating that one big improvement he looks closely at is the highways. According to him, parents have stated that they do not wish to send their offspring to USU Eastern due to the travel on Highway 6. Hinkins also believes that Highway 191 needs to see improvement.
The candidates were then asked why they would want to put themselves in this position. Hinkins stated that his biggest encouragement is his children and grandchildren. For his 14 grandchildren, he would like to see them continue to grow up and live in this area with the ability to choose the jobs they like.
“I want to see everyone’s children have the opportunity to stay in the area,” stated Hinkins.
Redd answered the same question by stating that she feels she has been given much and would like to start giving back. Her son is starting to take more care of her land and she feels that she has more time now and has a lot to offer as a voice for southern Utah.
The installment finished with the question, “What do you plan to do with the state vs. land debates?” Redd stated that the public lands should remain the public’s land. To her, this country enjoys public lands highly. Redd feels that if all American’s could enjoy public lands, we would be really hard-pressed to maintain them financially.
Hinkins answered that state lands that have been sold were in order to educate children. Over $600 million is spent per year in land management, according to Hinkins. He further stated that studies have been completed independently on this matter and stated that as a state the lands could be managed for under $300 million per year.
When asked why he should be re-elected, Hinkins stated that he believes he has done a great job.
“Being in the majority party is very beneficial,” he informed.
When asked why she should be elected, Redd re-iterated her former statement that change is a healthy way to go, that letting people stay in the same jobs year after year isn’t an improvement on the system.
“I commend anyone that runs and serves for our state and for the people of our state,” she stated.