Utah County Commissioner Enters Governor's Race

Utah County Commissioner Enters Governor's Race

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah County Commissioner Gary Herbert has entered the governor's race, which he characterized as a David and Goliaths battle.

"There are a lot of Goliaths out there, and clearly I'm cast in the role as David," said Herbert, 56, of Orem.

In seeking the Republican nomination, he will be facing former U.S. Rep. Jim Hansen, Utah House Speaker Marty Stephens, former Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr., Regents Chairman Nolan Karras, state Sen. Parley Hellewell of Orem and millionaire businessman Fred Lampropoulos. University of Utah Law School dean Scott Matheson Jr.is seeking the Democratic nomination.

"So I don't have the resources or the position of celebrity that some of the other candidates have," Herbert said Tuesday. "But what I do have is a very significantly good and broad background and experience."

Campaign manager Ben Waldron said Herbert cannot compete in a fund-raising race, so instead will just play it smart.

Herbert has already received $200,000 in pledged support and has $50,000 in his campaign bank account. Waldron said Herbert plans on raising $500,000 before the State Republican Convention next spring.

Herbert is hinging his campaign on the support of local leaders, and state Republican leaders say that may be a good strategy.

"Utah County is about the same size from the delegates standpoint as Weber and Davis counties put together," said Joe Cannon, state chairman of the Utah Republican Party. Cannon said many of the other candidates are focusing their energy in northern Utah, which leaves a lot of running room for Herbert in Utah County.

Herbert said the problems plaguing Interstate 15 outside Salt Lake County is an example of state officials ignoring local government needs.

Transportation problems are reaching "epidemic crisis proportions" in Utah County and plague local officials statewide, Herbert said.

"The community itself has been ignored," Herbert said. "All you've got to do is take a look at I-15 and look at the transportation challenges we've got. You can see that we have not been in great favor with the state."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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