I took the time to evaluate the candidates and I've made my decisions on all state and federal offices on my ballot. This includes US Senate, US House 2, State House 48, and State Senate 9.
US Senate: Long before I moved to Utah, I knew I would never cast a ballot for Orrin Hatch. He's a shameless shill for the recording and movie industries, pushing legislation such as the DMCA and INDUCE Act among others. The more I found out about his other stances, be it the recurring silliness of the flag burning amendment or the rubber-stamping of ever-expansive government spending, the more I knew I needed an alternative. I believe that Pete Ashdown is that alternative. As the founder and owner of Xmission, Utah's largest home-grown ISP, he knows technology inside and out. He endorses a sound immigration policy that balances enforcing the existing laws while solving the horribly broken process of obtaining legal residency and citizenship and has repeatedly pushed to move land management and education back to local control. I believe his willingness to look for the best solution regardless of political leaning is a breath of fresh air that Utahns need.
US House 2: With five candidates to choose from, there's plenty to evaluate in this race. I quickly eliminated Bob Brister from my list since I'm no fan of his far-left policies, and LaVar Christensen followed fast with his ultra-partisan attitude. That leaves Austin Lett, David Perry, and the incumbent, Jim Matheson. While Matheson seems to have done an okay job, I believe that W. David Perry is the best choice in this race. He has extensive service in city governments and the Chamber of Commerce, has been a small business owner, and has a firm grasp that the feds need to start devolving their current responsibilities to the states.
State Senate 9: This is a two-way race between Wayne Niederhauser and Trisha Beck. Both of them have a history of civic involvement, but my vote goes to Wayne Niederhauser for his innovative ideas on controlling government spending and his support of a school voucher program. His background is in accounting, so we can rest assured that he will spend our money wisely.
State House 48: This one is a no-brainer. Eric Gustafson didn't respond to my e-mail inquiry for more information, and he failed to give any information to the Deseret Morning News when they sent out candidate questionnaires. I don't want someone this slothful at communicating with the voters representing me. Hey Eric? Less time putting up signs, more time actually campaigning, okay? Since Fran Tully dropped out of the race, the only choice worth anything is Sylvia Andersen.