Larry Smith running for county commission
By Kristi Shields
Larry Smith, Snow College professor and member of the United Utah Party, is running for Sanpete County Commission because he is not afraid of making difficult choices.
He will be running against Republican Reed Hatch, the current Sanpete County recorder.
Smith feels that after serving on different school boards, he still has something to offer.
“I think what I bring to [the position] is the ability to lead,” Smith says. “[I also bring] the willingness to listen, the willingness to compromise and the willingness to examine both sides of an issue.”
Although he likes to make data driven decisions, he is not afraid to make decisions under difficult circumstances, he says. Sometimes you still need to make decisions even if you don’t have all the information that you would like to.
Smith’s platform states that elections should be non-partisan and publicly-funded primary elections should not be restricted to party members. He believes straight-party voting option should be eliminated to encourage deeper consideration of candidates and issues; and he favors an independent redistricting commission.
County government is an important level of government, but it does not get much attention from the community like city government does, he says.
“My goal is to make people feel more invested in the county level of government,” he says.
Smith encourages citizens to attend the commission meetings and would like to see the local newspapers increase coverage of the meetings.
Another goal of his is to emphasize and improve the lifestyle of Sanpete County with culture and art.
He would like to make the Snow College Planetarium more prominent, since it is a source of art, culture and entertainment.
Smith is running on the United Utah Party because he said he feels both major political parties are extremely divided.
“Real extreme, liberal progressives have taken over the Democratic Party; the real extreme super conservative tea party people have taken over the Republican Party,” Smith says.
The United Utah Party tries to be a home for people in the middle who are between the two extremes. It is willing to adopt reasonable positions from both parties, but isn’t particularly in favor of the extreme elements of either party, he says.
Smith became unaffiliated with the Republican Party because it started abandoning its traditional family values and being fiscal conservative. He says state Republicans still adhere to the traditional values, but not so much on a national level.
He says the Republican Party doesn’t balance the budget well—no better than the Democratic Party does—which is something he strongly believes in.
Smith says he wants to be a part of a reasonable government that improves people’s lives. The county commission seems like a place he can contribute.
“I would also like to publicize the new Utah party; make more people aware of it; that there is an option in the middle,” he says. “We’re trying to unite the people in Utah.”
“We’ve been a well governed county, so I don’t anticipate changing everything overnight,” Smith says. “I just want to be a reasonable voice in the middle.”
For more information, visit larrysmith.org.