For the first time in 35 years, there is a republican primary for Utah’s 25th senate district. Senator Lyle Hillyard has served as the senator for the district since 1984. He said this election is different.
“But the first time I ran, I ran against an incumbent Republican, and I won 70% to 30%. And since that time, this is the first time I've had a republican running against me," Hillyard said.
His opponent, Chris Wilson, said he is opposed to long terms of service in political office.
“I believe a lot of the issues we're having on a federal level, and to a lesser extent, still a problem with state and local officials is with career politicians, and I believe we need to have term limits," Wilson said. "I’m committed to, to work on that, if I'm elected in the 25th District.”
Hillyard and Wilson have many similarities. They are both natives of Cache Valley where they raised their families and built their businesses, Hillyard a law firm and Wilson a car dealership. Both men are concerned with the economic development of the area, though they have different perspectives on how to best develop the rural economy.
Senator Hillyard said his experience and relationships with leaders in the state put him in a strong position to help Utahns through economic growing pains.
"And then when this tax reform thing hit, the leadership came to me and said, Listen, you know this thing better than anybody, about budgets and revenue, you understand taxes," Wilson said. "We need to hear you get through this transition.”
Mr. Wilson said Senator Hillyard has made mistakes in the past.
“I did not support the tax reform bill, but they I think pushed way too quickly. Will they increase the tax on food and gas and other services?" Wilson said. "I felt it was a very, very complicated bill with a lot of moving parts and felt there was a lot a better way of trying to accomplish what they were trying to do without a very, very complicated and And it was obvious that the public did not want it either where I think the poll in the state of Utah was 60% of the people were against the sales tax reform bill. But our legislative leaders and other leaders in the state decided to go ahead and push it through anyway.”