It’s been four years since Republican Val Potter was elected to the Utah House of Representatives. For the first time since then, he is facing a Republican opponent in a primary race for Utah’s third house seat — Mike Petersen.
“I got into this election because last December, as many of you know, the state legislature passed a massive tax reform bill, some 62,000 words, a couple hundred pages that had tentacles that led into countless other bills. And as a conservative Republican, I welcome tax reform," Petersen said. "Well, this bill is anything but simple. It was very complex and complicated.”
Petersen said with COVID-19’s ill effects still seen in the state, the repeal of the tax reform bill has been crucial for Utahns to get through the crisis.
Petersen was against Governor Gary Herbert’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” initiative and sent out letters calling for businesses to reopen, regardless of being deemed “essential,” but Potter said people heeding the health department’s warnings is what prevented more cases in the valley, and now Utah can look to safely moving forward with opening.
“I think we’re all concerned about safety, but we need to get the schools open," Potter said. "We need to get the businesses going. We need to get the economy moving. Get those people who are without jobs to get back to work.”
Especially as Utah is highly reliant on tourism, according to Potter.
“We need those tourism dollars to keep Utah people moving around Utah. We don't have to focus on, right now, on the out-of-state or the international people," he said. "That money will be trickling down to the counties and the communities, the thing we need to do is get regional car travel.”
Ballots for the June 30 primary will be in the mail soon.