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Richard Piatt ReportingA first-term congressman is facing a political unknown in Utah's first congressional district this year. Republican Rob Bishop took the seat Jim Hansen occupied for many years--a seat Logan Democrat Steve Thompson is hoping to take for himself.
Congressman Rob Bishop is a man surrounded by history. A visit to his antique-filled Brigham City home is a giveaway. Bishop taught History at Brigham City High School for many years. Now, in Congress, he is part of Utah's political fabric and he wants another term to keep making history here and in Washington.
Rep. Rob Bishop, (R) Utah: “The concept is not about me, it’s about who can best represent this district in Washington.”
With an office in Brigham City's old municipal building, Bishop is humble about his political fortune in Washington so far. He took over key committee assignment from Congressman Hansen -- securing coveted seats on the Resources Committee, Space and Armed Services Committees.
Rep. Rob Bishop, (R) Utah: "What we were able to do is get those same committee assignments, so I have the right committee assignments for this district. Everything I requested I got, and I'm grateful for that."
Bishop is already in a position to help keep Hill Air Force Base open. But that's assuming President Bush will get re-elected, according to Democrat Steve Thompson. Thompson is running a grass-roots, lead campaign against Bishop, hoping to make a difference on issues like the economy.
Steve Thompson, (D) Candidate For Congress: "That's the thing that's energized me the most to get into this race is the fact that in America that we're falling behind and we're giving away the store to the foreign interests. And that just isn't right."
A major campaign worker for Thompson is also his wife. Because money has been hard to raise, Thompson has had to be creative to get the word out: sponsoring things like coloring contests for local kids.
Steve Thompson, (D) Candidate For Congress: "My slogan is ‘Representing Utah, Representing You.’ So this has been a fun thing to do."
Thompson has been on Logan's City council for years, and knows the challenges facing Democrats in Northern Utah. But he feels voters should at least have a choice in a race where party and incumbency are a powerful combination for his opponent.
KSL and the Deseret Morning news will unveil exclusive Dan Jones poll results on the candidates and the issues this weekend.