If District 3 Representative Jason Chaffetz-R, Utah decides he is seriously going after Orrin Hatch’s seat in the US Senate, Utah State Representative Stephen Sandstrom-R, Orem is getting ready to replace him.
Sandstrom, author of HB497, Utah’s controversial illegal immigration enforcement-only legislation has decided he would like a seat in the US House, according to Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly, and has retained Alan Crooks as his campaign manager. Crooks managed Tim Bridgewater’s US Senate campaign and worked for Lohra Miller’s unsuccessful bid for re-election as Salt Lake County District Attorney.
Current polls suggest Hatch will have tough race in 2012, with a challenge from Chaffetz within his own party as well as a possible run from District 2 Representative Jim Matheson, Utah’s only democrat in Washington. Matheson is said to be considering a state-wide office – either Hatch’s or possibly governor. Polls suggest Matheson would have a good shot at taking either.
Currently District 3 is mainly the southern and western ends of the Salt Lake Valley and Utah County. Although the redistricting committee completed its public meetings Tuesday, it is still not known if legislators plan to keep Salt Lake County whole or slice the state’s democratic base into pieces.
It will be interesting to see how much gerrymandering will take place. Senate President and redistricting committee member Michael Waddoups-R, Taylorsville said Tuesday he is rethinking his original plan to cut Salt Lake City into four chunks, and is instead looking at dividing all urban areas by drawing lines through Salt Lake, Davis, and Utah Counties. Waddoups says dividing urban areas into pieces allows all congressional representatives to represent urban and rural interests, and says that dividing it this way “makes the divisions more fair.” Democrats believe dividing the city is designed to weaken the only democratic base within the state.
You can view the most recent plans by clicking here. Citizen input from 17 public meetings over the last 68 days indicates people want their communities kept together as much as possible.
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Source: Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Utah Legislature