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Utah House candidate Kris Campbell invites bi-partisan collaboration, checking state legislative power regarding local decisions

This article is part of an ongoing series at TownLift covering all candidates for the upcoming 2022 local election.

PARK CITY, Utah — Kris Campbell, a Wyoming native, has lived in Summit County since 2009. After a post-college stint in Pennsylvania, his desire to be back in the west called him to Utah, and he now raises his two daughters here.

The overarching theme in Campbell’s conversations with constituents in the county is the challenges faced regarding land management, water, and housing resources. The issue, he voices, is how we manage these challenges “so that our children and grandchildren can afford to live here and enjoy a high quality of life.”

Sustainability is top of mind for Campbell regarding growth pressures facing the community, changing climate, and the economy.  He asks, “how do we grow and adapt while maintaining our community values and preserving the landscape we love so dearly? These are not easy questions to answer.”

Campbell’s platform revolves around bringing people together to find common ground and common sense solutions to work for as many people as possible. “I will support local decision-making, legislate with moderation, manage growth responsibly, and steward our water resources,” he said.

With recent legislation, certain hot topics affecting the community were felt, by some residents, to be fated to the state instead of the local government. Campbell references legislatures writing last-minute changes to law without public input or support, including the law in support of the Hideout annexation and additional language to HB462 specifically targeting Summit County.

Campbell reinforces his intent to “use legislative power in moderation and support local decision-making by providing the guidance and recommendations… and providing policy tools to help local governments, developers, and communities collaborate to plan development wisely and responsibly.”

If elected, Campbell’s first steps would be to build bipartisan collaborations with legislators to find beneficial solutions for all communities in his district (Summit, Morgan, and Rich Counties). His goal is to prevent heavy-handedness on the state level and allow the local communities to take back some control.

“Often, legislators want to help people by providing the solutions at a state level. However, sometimes the better choice is for the state to step back and instead give support to local community solutions. I will encourage legislators to be careful to use legislative power only when and where appropriate, respecting the checks and balances that distribute power among the governor, the judiciary, local governments, and above all, the people of Utah.”

One thing that remains prevalent in Campbell’s verbiage is collaboration, bipartisanship, and maintaining perspective. For him, it’s about holding everyone accountable.

“As a legislator, I will encourage fellow lawmakers to maintain their integrity, build trust in our government, and collaborate with the people of Utah to serve the interests and needs of the communities we represent. If I stray from my values, I will apologize for, fix, and learn from my mistakes. I will work to ensure all perspectives have a seat at the table, collaborating to find solutions… We can build stronger communities. Together.”

Campbell is running for Utah House of Representatives District 4 against Republican Candidate Kera Birkeland. The deadline to register and receive a vote by mail ballot is October 28 and postmarked by Monday, November 7. If deposited in a drop box, it needs to be deposited in an official drop box by 8 p.m. on November 8. If voting in person, residents can visit the following voting locations.

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