SANDY— A candidate endorsed by the far-right Utah Parents United prevailed over Kim Pickett of Gunnison for Republican nomination to the Utah State Board of Education at the Republican State Convention on Saturday.
Under party rules, Emily Green of Cedar City needed 60% or more of the delegate vote to knock Pickett out of the race and advance to the final election ballot without a primary. She received 67.65%.
At stake is the state school board seat for District 14, which covers most of Utah south of U.S. 6. Richard Jensen of Enoch, Iron County, has also filed for the seat as a Libertarian.
Pickett has been involved in the Utah Republican party for decades, including as the chair of the Sanpete County Republicans, but did not meet Green until the state convention.
Pickett is in his fourth term on the South Sanpete School Board. His current term runs through 2024. He ran for the state school board because of his concern that schools are “getting bombarded with so much stuff,” he said in a live streamed debate with Green on April 19.
“We are getting a little bit sidetracked … away from academic integrity,” Green agreed during the debate. “I feel that we are approaching a real pivotal time in how we are approaching our civics education and academic alignment.”
Pickett, father of six and grandfather of 10, has served as president and vice president of the South Sanpete School Board and has been on the board of the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA). Pickett is the owner of Gunnison Implement Company LLC (GIC), a hardware store, automotive repair shop and convenience store.
“I have advocated and testified before the legislature on various issues dealing with education,” he said. He has also addressed matters for the UHSAA regarding fairness in competitions.
Green, a mother of five children ages 5-16, has been the PTA president of her children’s elementary school in Cedar City and helped to raise more than $30,000 through two fundraising events.
She has also been invited to participate in the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, the United Nations’ Civil Society conference, and the World Congress of Families. She serves on an advisory board for Intermountain Healthcare in Cedar City. She also runs a small business with her husband Mike that has 300 employees.