Through conversations he had while gathering signatures for the tax referendum, Mike Petersen, a local business owner, decided he needed to do something more to help people’s voices be heard.
Tuesday afternoon at the art studio Jump The Moon, Petersen announced his candidacy for Utah House District 3.
The decision to run against incumbent Val Potter was one that Petersen said was much needed and only became more pressing due to the tax reform bill.
“There was a wave of fury across the state,” Petersen said. “I caught that wave. Just like so many people did.”
He said the state does not have a budget problem but rather a spending problem and decided to run for a spot on the legislature in order to disrupt that thinking.
“We need people to look after the state, we need people to listen to us,” Petersen said.
Petersen committed to being true to the Constitution and the Republican Party. He said being true to those two things would help him make decisions. One of those decisions being how to decrease the number of bills that get passed each year by the legislature, which Petersen said is excessive.
“I want to go in and make some disruption. I want to go in and change some things,” Petersen said. “I want to represent you. I want to hear your voice.”
Petersen picked the art studio as the location for his announcement because the Jump The Moon foundation is an example of private sector action without taxpayer involvement to help people with disabilities and the disadvantaged. This concept is something that Petersen hopes to perpetuate throughout the state.
“I had watched Val Potter’s voting record, and as much respect as I have for him, I compared it to the electorate in this district and I think he is a little bit to the left of the voters in this district,” said Layne Beck, Petersen’s campaign spokesperson.
After meeting Petersen a couple of months ago and grilling him on his political philosophy, Beck decided Petersen could do a good job representing the voices of the district and helped him create the campaign slogan “Restore Your Voice.”
Petersen will be pursuing a spot on the ballot by relying on the delegates during the convention.
He and his family have lived in Cache Valley for the past 30 years. He is co-owner of Letterpress Software, an instructional design company.
More information about Petersen’s campaign and future town hall meetings can be found at www.voteformikepetersen.com.