Thursday, June 18, 2015

An Endorsement...of Sorts

I received an endorsement of sorts from Jason Christensen. Jason is a candidate for the City-Wide Council seat and is a moderator and lead poster in the "Conservative Our Provo" Facebook group. Back on June 6th, shortly before the filing period ended, Jason posted a call for people to step up and run for office in the then-uncontested races. He ended his opening paragraph with this sentence: "Lastly we need someone against David Harding, he may be an independent thinker at times but he is still a leftist in his ideology."

I appreciate his assessment of my independence. I do try hard to look at each issue separately and try to be swayed by the facts and not by the advocates or critics. I do have to disagree, though, with his characterization of my ideology. Like most people, I find my own ideology quite reasonable and logical. It's everyone else's ideology that is too far to the left or too far to the right. ;)

In all seriousness, I'm sure there are many issues that Jason and I would agree on, and I'm sure that there are many that we could have fun debating. I hope to have a few conversations with him out on the campaign trail.

I've been meaning to post some substantive material up on this site about my views on issues and vision for the City and District 5. They will be coming soon. It just that it's far more fun to write these whimsical posts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On Opposition and Elections

Yesterday Calli Hales contacted me to let me know that she had withdrawn from the District 5 Council race. After talking with her, I understand and support her decision. I wish her and her family all the best as she finishes her term on the Council. I am confident that she will continue her service to Provo and our community in one way or another, as she always has done. We owe her a debt of gratitude.

I am saddened to see her leave the race for several reasons. I feel like Ms. Hales and I could have run a model race. District 5 was subjected to some nasty politics over the past two election cycles. Ms. Hales and I would have kept things positive and respectful as we debated ideas and policies. We would have presented our qualifications, capabilities, and vision for our district and then let the voters decide who would best represent them. Such a race would have helped the healing in our district, would have encouraged more people to get involved, and would have helped everyone to feel like they have a voice in local governance.

Having an opponent also gives the campaign a sense of urgency and brings it more sharply into focus. Without anyone else in the race, I doubt that I'll be invited to too many debates. This is a missed opportunity. I believe that healthy discussion and debate leads to better ideas and broader and deeper understanding. Campaigning is a great way for me to meet voters and residents, get to know you, and to allow you to get to know me. Even without an opponent, I pledge to walk the district and knock on doors, to help me better understand your concerns and your ideas, so that I can be a better representative if I am elected.

I also believe in democracy and our electoral process. For this to work right, voters need a choice.

The period to get your name on the ballot has closed, but you still have until September 4th to declare candidacy as a write-in. I welcome a challenger or two to help make this race interesting again. If you know someone who would make a good representative for our district on the Council, please encourage them to run. Or consider running yourself if you feel like you have the time, passion, and qualities to represent our district well. This will give voters a choice, the candidates a reason to engage, and, in the end, a better representative will be elected, whoever that may be.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Primary Reduction

Janene Weiss, Provo City Recorder, has informed me that Dean Evan Cofer has withdrawn from the race. This leaves Calli Hales, the current representative of the district, and myself as registered candidates. Therefore, according to Ms. Weiss, there will be no primary for District 5. I look forward to an engaging and respectful race with Councilwoman Hales.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pledge of Fair Campaign Practices

Now that the race has really begun, I want to make it very clear where I stand on the ethics and practice of campaigning. I'm speaking to my fellow candidates and their supporters, but particularly to anyone I'm fortunate enough to have supporting me.

Below is a copy of the pledge I took regarding fair campaign practices. All candidates across the state are asked to sign it, but it is optional. I want everyone to know how seriously I take this pledge. I fully support the spirit of this pledge, and fully intend to keep my pledge. I expect to be held to this commitment. I can't promise that I won't make mistakes, but I want to be called out when I do.

I want to draw particular attention to the fifth point of the pledge which calls for repudiation of supporters who do not act in the spirit of this pledge. I have committed to do this and this is fair warning to anyone who shows support for my candidacy.

I call on all candidates seeking Provo offices to publicly acknowledge whether they signed this pledge and address their own commitment to the pledge. Let's all, candidates and supporters, do our part in keeping this election civil, ethical, and issues-based.


There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play which every candidate for public office in the State of Utah has a moral obligation to observe and uphold, in order that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise their right to a free election, and that the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the issues.


  • I SHALL conduct my campaign openly and publicly, discussing the issues as I see them, presenting my record and policies with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing, without fear or favor, the record and policies of my opponents that I believe merit criticism.
  • I SHALL NOT use, nor shall I permit the use of, scurrilous attacks on any candidate or the candidate's immediate family. I shall not participate in, nor shall I permit the use of, defamation, libel, or slander against any candidate or the candidate's immediate family. I shall not participate in, nor shall I permit the use of, any other criticism of any candidate or the candidate's immediate family that I do not believe to be truthful, provable, and relevant to my campaign.
  • I SHALL NOT use, nor shall I permit the use of, any practice that tends to corrupt or undermine our American system of free elections, or that hinders or prevents the free expression of the will of the voters, including practices intended to hinder or prevent any eligible person from registering to vote or voting.
  • I SHALL NOT coerce election help or campaign contributions for myself or for any other candidate from my employees or volunteers.
  • I SHALL immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any individual or group which resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of an opponent, to methods in violation of the letter or spirit of this pledge. I shall accept responsibility to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this pledge or the laws governing elections.
  • I SHALL defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full and equal participation in the electoral process.
I, the undersigned, candidate for election to public office in the State of Utah, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct my campaign in accordance with the above principles and practices.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Welcome to the Race

Yesterday, on the last day to file, the race for the District 5 Council seat became more interesting. I'd like to welcome Dean Evan Cofer and incumbant Calli Hales to the field. I'm looking forward to engaging with them on the campaign trail and exploring our vision for Provo and District 5 in debates.

Monday, June 1, 2015

I'm running for City Council!

This morning at 7am I made it official. I filed as a candidate for Provo City Council, District 5. I'm very experienced in working with my neighborhood, and in engaging with the Council in deep policy discussions. I'm not so experienced in running for an office, so this'll be a learning experience! Please pardon my missteps.

Stay tuned for more information as we get this thing off the ground. In the mean time, you can "like" the campaign Facebook page at: