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A GUIDE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES: UTAH

7 minute read
TIME

UTAH

Population (1994): 1,908,000 (up 10.7% from 1990), 0.7% of U.S. total

Voting-age population: 1,246,000; 1994 turnout, 42%

Median age: 26.2 years

Median household income: $35,716 ($3,454 above U.S. median)

Unemployment: 3.2% (2.4% below U.S. average, March 1996)

Last presidential election: Clinton (D): 25% Bush (R): 43% Perot (I): 27%

Congressional delegation: One Democrat, four Republicans

Utah has long been a conservative stronghold. Since Mormon leader Brigham Young led his followers to their new desert home in 1847, the church has dominated both politics and daily life. In 1991 Utah passed the strictest abortion law in the country, permitting the procedure only in cases of rape and incest, or if the mother’s life is endangered. The Beehive State also leads the country in number of hours its citizens work–an average of 48 per week, more even than the notorious workaholic Japanese. Democrats do have a toehold with Representative Bill Orton, but in 1992 even third-party candidate Ross Perot won more votes here than Bill Clinton.

JAMES HANSEN (R) District 1 (West–Salt Lake City suburbs; Ogden; Logan)

BORN: Aug. 14, 1932, Salt Lake City EDUCATION: U of Utah, B.S., 1960 FAMILY: Wife, Ann; five children RELIGION: Mormon MILITARY: Navy, 1952-54 OCCUPATION: Insurance executive; developer POLITICAL CAREER: Farmington city council, 1968-72; Utah House, 1973-80; U.S. House, 1980- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 654, Farmington 84025. Tel.: 801-451-6500

Hansen, who has had the longest tenure of any Utah Representative, is seeking his ninth term. A key voice for local control in what some residents call the “war on the West,” he opposes overdevelopment, but not enough to get the support of some environmentalists, who want Hansen to do more to protect the Western wilderness. Hansen has also led efforts to limit tobacco advertising.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Tobacco-industry advertisers have no choice but to target children as today’s customers, because yesterday’s customers have already died from tobacco-related diseases.”

GREGORY SANDERS (D) District 1

BORN: Dec. 16, 1949, Palo Alto, Calif. EDUCATION: Weber State College, A.S., 1972; U of Utah, B.S., 1974; Brigham Young U, J.D., 1977 FAMILY: Wife Linda; five children RELIGION: Mormon MILITARY: Army, 1977-80; Army Reserve, 1980- OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: None ADDRESS: P.O. Box 165, Kaysville 84037. Tel.: 801-444-1996

Running against a G.O.P. incumbent in a heavily Republican district, Sanders hopes to turn his underdog status into a trump card. He refuses money from political-action committees, emphasizes the environment and says that though he is in favor of limiting the amount of state land in federal hands, he’ll fight for more wilderness designations than his opponent supports.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: [On his not taking PAC money] “There’s been a mixed reaction from party leaders. Some are telling me to my face that I’m crazy. The old game didn’t work, did it? So why should I play it?”

ROSS ANDERSON (D) District 2 (Central–parts of Salt Lake City)

BORN: Sept. 9, 1951, Logan EDUCATION: U of Utah, B.S., 1973; George Washington U, J.D., 1978 FAMILY: Divorced; one child RELIGION: NR MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: None ADDRESS: 2797 South Main Street, Suite A, Salt Lake City 84115. Tel.: 801-466-1996

In the race for this open seat, being vacated by scandalized Enid Green [Waldholtz], Anderson intensified an already raging debate this fall by opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, which passed the House and Senate in September and gives states power to deny the legality of same-sex unions. On fiscal issues, he is not a traditional Democrat: he supports a balanced-budget amendment and wants to reduce Medicare and Social Security payments to wealthy Americans.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays NO Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Issues like [same-sex marriage] shouldn’t be decided in Congress anyway; they should be decided by the states and in the courts.”

MERRILL COOK (R) District 2

BORN: May 6, 1946, Philadelphia EDUCATION: U of Utah, B.A., 1969; Harvard U, M.B.A., 1971 FAMILY: Wife, Camille; five children RELIGION: Mormon MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Explosives-company executive; radio-talk-show host POLITICAL CAREER: Candidate for mayor of Salt Lake City, 1985; Independent candidate for Governor, 1988, 1992; Independent candidate for U.S. House, 1994 ADDRESS: 8 East Broadway, Suite 614, Salt Lake City 84111. Tel.: 801-359-9971

This is Cook’s seventh try for public office in 12 years. When he ran for the U.S. House as an Independent in 1994, he was quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t go back to the Republicans for $10 million.” Two years later, he has the g.o.p. nomination–but he has had to convince the party of his dedication, vowing to help cut the deficit and advocating a flat 17% federal income tax.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I felt the Independent Party had put up a good fight, but we lost. It is time now to go back and work to change the [Republican] party.”

CHRISTOPHER CANNON (R) District 3 (East–Provo, Orem)

BORN: Oct. 20, 1950, Salt Lake City EDUCATION: Brigham Young U, B.S., 1974, J.D., 1980 FAMILY: Wife, Claudia; seven children RELIGION: Mormon MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Venture-capital executive; steel-company executive; lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Utah Republican Party finance chair, 1992-94 ADDRESS: 123 West Center, Provo 84601. Tel.: 801-374-8880

Calling himself a Reagan Republican, multimillionaire Cannon says he’s running in part because the g.o.p. majority in Congress gives him a chance to help reduce taxes, cut the national debt and restore power to the states. He outspent his opponent in the primary more than 250% and was doing much the same to Bill Orton in the general election.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “[Term limits are] one of the most fundamental ways to…bring back a citizen legislature as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. [They] will effectively end congressional careerism.”

BILL ORTON (D) District 3

BORN: Sept. 22, 1948, North Ogden EDUCATION: Brigham Young U, B.S., 1973, J.D., 1979 FAMILY: Wife, Jacquelyn; one child RELIGION: Mormon MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1990- ADDRESS: 889 North Freedom Boulevard, Suite 203, Provo 84604. Tel.: 801-377-3401 No one can accuse Orton of partisan politics: the Democrat usually votes against his party on economic and social issues, opposing gun control and federal funding of abortion and supporting mandatory parental notification of minors’ abortions. His sights set on a fourth term, he has tried to build up his coffers, but he’s facing multimillionaire Christopher Cannon, who was outspending him 2 to 1. In July Orton joined 65 other House members in calling for renewed investigation into whether tobacco ads encourage minors to smoke.

THE ISSUES Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NR Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “My compass is my conscience. That is compatible with the people I represent.”

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