Thursday, June 26, 2008

Change Is in the Air

In the wake of several astonishing upsets in Tuesday’s Republican primary, pundits are speculating about what the results mean for Utah’s political climate. As someone who follows state politics, I’ve been reading and listening to quite a lot of these commentaries. Though analysts’ views vary with respect to the specific issues in voters’ minds when they cast their ballots, there’s little disagreement about the overall message of the election:

Voters want change.

In two Republican legislative races north of Salt Lake (one in Davis County and one in Weber County), incumbents loyal to the current power brokers lost to moderates who better reflected the views of their communities. In the state treasurer’s race, the candidate with actual investment experience beat out the favorite of party bosses and legislative leaders. Although these results may seem like common sense, they represent a remarkable shift from previous years.

For months I’ve been saying that there’s something different in the air this year. Voters are tired of having a few powerful politicians trying to force their will on the citizens. In the past, such dissatisfaction may have led to increased complaining or perhaps apathy. People thought, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just one person.” However, after last year’s petition and voucher referendum, voters now realize the great power they hold. We don’t have to just accept what our legislators do. When enough of us get together and get involved we can do great things. Most of all, we can remind elected politicians that they work for us. If they don’t do the job correctly—if they don’t listen to the people they are supposed to represent—they can be replaced. Tuesday’s primary was a fresh reminder.

I’m looking forward to the general election season ahead of us. Two years ago I knocked on doors all over District 51 and talked to thousands of Draper and Sandy residents about their priorities for state government. Their input helped me better understand the role of a state representative. I’m excited by the energy I see in my supporters and volunteers and by their commitment to get rid of “politics as usual” in Utah.

If you’re ready for a change, if you’re ready for a representative who supports your values on the issues that matter most, let me be your voice. Join the Lisa Johnson for Legislature campaign today at

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