Memorable political campaigns can be boiled down to just a few words. Everyone remembers Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1952 slogan “I Like Ike” or, in 2008, Barack Obama’s “Change We Can Believe In.”
Local candidates running for office at the state and county level have employed slogans of their own, and several have struck a theme. Out of five elections for Utah Legislature and Cache County Council, four candidates have slogans with the words “voice” or “your voice.” Each candidate has a unique explanation for their word choice.
Utah House of Representatives
In the race for Utah House District 4, which covers most of Logan, Republican candidate Dan Johnson’s slogan is “Your Choice. Your Voice.” Johnson, if elected, said he would listen to what people think, hear their concerns and then make an informed decision. He said he will have a lot of people on his speed dial to help him gather that expertise.
“I’m not a guy that is going into this with thinking, ‘Well I just have my own ideas and that’s all I’m going to do,’” said Johnson, a lifelong educator and retired school administrator. “I don’t think that’s what people want.”
Josh Brundage, the Democrat running against Johnson to replace Rep. Ed Redd, who is not seeking reelection, also uses the word “voice” in his slogan. His campaign fliers state: “A Progressive Voice for Utah.”
In looking at the current makeup of the Utah House of Representatives, he said it’s “pretty well common knowledge” that most members think the same way and vote the same way. He said there is a progressive voice in Utah — it’s just not being heard.
“That’s kind of why I decided to run,” said Brundage, who works at outdoor equipment company CampSaver. “I wanted to bring a different voice to the Utah House of Representatives, a more progressive voice, a younger voice and just offer a different way of thinking.”
On the south end of the valley, in House District 5, Democrat Karina Andelin Brown’s slogan is “Your Voice Matters.”
She said the tagline comes from her experience in working as a health care advocate. She is one of five sponsors of Proposition 3, the Utah Medicaid expansion ballot initiative. Throughout the process of going to Capitol Hill and participating in committee meetings, she said she learned that everyday citizens like her can make a difference.
“I’ve really learned that my voice matters but also the voices of everyone else,” Brown said.
Republican Casey Snider is running against Brown for Rep. Curt Webb’s seat. Snider’s slogan is “Hard Work Ahead,” which he said comes from his roots in agriculture.
“Nobody works harder than a farmer,” Snider said. “Growing up, when all my buddies were asleep, I was out milking cows. First to get up and last to go home.”
Snider, a former legislative director for U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, said he sees public service as a chance to do good and give back to the community.
In House District 3, on the north side of Cache County, Democrat Marilyn Mecham is seeking to unseat Republican Rep. Val Potter. Before his time in the Legislature, Potter served in several local elected positions, including mayor of North Logan. Mecham has experience as a Mary Kay cosmetics salesperson and custodian.
Cache County Council
The Cache County Council is currently made up of five men and two women, all of whom are Republicans. Three Democrat women hope to change that.
Incumbent Greg Merrill is not seeking election in Logan District 3. Democrat Jennifer Roark summed up her campaign in three words: “Housed, Healthy and Happy.”
She said everyone in Cache County should have access to affordable housing and a decent wage. In addition, she said everyone should have access to a doctor, dentist and mental health services.
“As a social worker and a therapist myself, that’s extremely important,” Roark said.
Voters will choose between Roark and Republican Paul Borup in November. Borup, who was traveling this week and provided a response via email, provided this campaign tagline: “Embracing the Future while Honoring the Past.”
“It isn’t just the natural beauty that makes Cache County such a special place,” Borup wrote. “The shared values of honesty, thrift, kindness and hard work make the valley stand out. As we plan for and meet the challenges that come with growth I want to ensure we don’t lose the quality of life we have here.”
Republican Gina Worthen will defend her Northeast District seat against Democrat Shannon Rhodes. Worthen said she has three main values: “Transparency, Opportunity and Service.”
In an effort toward open government, Worthen sends out a regular email to constituents to provide details on what the County Council is up to. In addition, she said she is part of a planning effort to form a cohesive economic development plan, and she is active in the PTA and community events.
“Being on the County Council is about service and serving people and listening to people,” Worthen said.
Shannon Rhodes also had a three-point slogan, with one word in common with her opponent: “Inclusive, Cooperation and Service.” Rhodes, a social worker, said a more diverse community is a happier community. She said the valley and the nation can be improved if more people — Republicans and Democrats — meet in the middle to come up with solutions.
“When we serve our neighbors we aren’t usually fighting with our neighbors,” Rhodes said. “We get along better.”
In the Southeast District, 14-year incumbent Republican Gordon Zilles is running against Democrat Rebecca Winstead. Zilles made up a slogan for his campaign on the spot in a Thursday phone call with The Herald Journal.
“If It’s Going Well, Don’t Change It,” he said.
He said Cache County is doing well all around. Taxes are low, there is little waste, people are being taken care of and crime is down, he said. He said he wants to continue to fight for a four-lane option for the upcoming expansion of State Route 30.
“I think the Council that we’ve had over the last 20 years has been very, very conservative, and it’s been very responsive to the citizens,” Zilles said.
Rebecca Winstead, a staff assistant at the USU Department of Art and Design, has a different take. Similar to three local candidates running for Utah Legislature, her slogan is “Vote Your Voice.” She said voters are tired of the status quo, and she will be their voice.
“From what I see of people, they’re really frustrated, and they feel like nobody is listening to them and that their voice isn’t being heard,” Winstead said.