The June primary is just two weeks away, and a few races have made it a big election.
One of those is the contest for Utah’s 1st Congressional District. After nearly two decades, Republican Representative Rob Bishop won’t be seeking re-election, and the seat is up for grabs.
Two Democrats and four Republicans will be on the primary ballot on June 30.
Republican candidate Bob Stevenson has deep roots in Layton. He grew up there. He graduated from Layton High School and then taught school there.
In his twenties, he was elected to the Layton City Council, though after three terms he took a 25-year hiatus from politics.
“That's when my wife was pregnant with twins,” Stevenson said. “She told me my political career was over.”
Since then, Stevenson has served as the mayor of Layton and is now a Davis County Commissioner.
But even though he said those roles in local government have prepared him for Congress, Stevenson stresses he’s not a career politician. Instead, he said his nearly three decades-long career with a global corporation sets him apart from his opponents.
“None of the other candidates have had that experience as far as their life goes, working in, basically, big business across the country,” he said.
Stevenson said the biggest issue facing the district is access to job opportunities, but he added that planning for growth has to be a part of that solution. It’s usually the work of local governments to map out housing and transportation needs, but Stevenson said he can support that from Congress as well.
“There's no question that when you work in local government, you do deal with your legislators back in Washington quite a bit,” he said.
One thing Stevenson really wants to tackle on behalf of the first district is securing consistent federal funding. Stevenson said there are programs that depend on congressional renewal each year, including research at Utah State University or rural infrastructure projects and services.
“None of us like to be worrying about whether or not we're going to have the dollars to do what we need to tomorrow because we're waiting for somebody to make a decision,” he said.
To learn more about Stevenson’s positions — and to compare them to his three Republican opponents — check out KUER’s voter guide.
Emily Means covers politics for KUER. Follow her on Twitter @Em_Means13