Publisher’s Perspective: Crunch timeSo, it’s crunch time. The election for president as well as for our next county commissioner is right around the corner on Nov. 8. It seems that each month I feel the pressure to use this space wisely and choose the words I feel will truly convey my commitment, my passion, and my qualifications to be the next Washington County Commissioner. This is no easy task. Should I focus on issues as I did last month? Should I ask people to vote for me for a fresh perspective versus more of the same? Do I need to qualify myself through listing my work experience as publisher of The Independent for the last 20 years? I feel I’ve done all those things, and now I just have to wait for November to see if I’ve been convincing enough based on those facts.

But there’s something else I’d like you all to know, and it’s much harder to put into words: my character. Who I am when no one is looking. Things that touch my heart and the person I strive to be everyday.

I was asked at a campaign meet and greet a couple of months ago by an old acquaintance about what differentiates me from my competitors. He was asked by his neighbors, as he inevitably would be, as he was putting a sign in his yard. I had to pause and think about it for a moment. He wasn’t asking about my views or positions on the issues, those I’d already made clear. He was asking about me. What makes me different? After a few seconds I answered rather simply, “I lead with the heart.” The room grew quiet. He nodded his head at me in satisfaction. Not because it was the answer that he expected but because it connected to him. I know him as a very sensitive and thoughtful person, and I wanted to give him something he could feel in his heart to be true. And it wasn’t just an answer for him but really the root of my campaign and my motivation for running: love.

At the risk of coming across as overly sensitive or emotional, that’s what I want people to know about me. I lead with love. I want our government to have more love for the people. For the land. More love for life.

I want to make them feel listened to and heard, like their voices count and the things that are important to them are important to their leaders and the government that leads and protects them. I want to make them feel like they have a government they can trust and believe in. Those may seem like lofty goals, but the only way I figure we’ll get better government is to get better people to run.

And I don’t want to come across as pretentious or demeaning to my competitors. I’m sure they’re both fine fellows … but truly, anyone who knows me knows that I am different. I’ve always been. I love people. All kinds of people. And I recognize it’s the differences between us that make us have broader, richer conversations and solutions.

So I’m asking again for your support. Now is the time when it’s really going to count. Please consider putting a sign for my campaign up in your yard, talking to your friends and neighbors about me, and helping out with my campaign. You c(435) 632-1555 or pick one up at The Independent office at 40 N 300 E in St. George.

We’ve got some amazing people who have stepped up for the campaign, but I’ve still got a big hill to climb to become the first non-Republican elected in Washington County in decades. Please consider sharing this article and my others with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Tell them you’re voting for me and your own reasons why. It could be my opposition to the Lake Powell Pipeline and support for the alternatives. It could be that I want fair pay for our Sheriff’s officers. It could be that I want to build a county animal shelter to help our most needy animals. Those issues and many more are well documented in previous articles and on my website at But ultimately, I hope you’ll tell them it’s because I am different. Not your typical politician type. Someone who feels called to serve their fellow man and is willing to sacrifice to do it.

This has been anything but easy, and yet I have to admit it’s been an amazing experience. Meeting new people. Hearing over and over that I have their support and they enjoy my ideals, my softness, my approach. It’s been a heart-opening experience, and I want to bring that open heart to our local government.

I love southern Utah, Zion, and all the communities of Washington County, and I want to serve them … and you. Please consider voting for me on Nov. 8, and bring along your grandma, kids (of voting age), neighbors, and friends as well. Together, we can have a shift in local government I feel is badly needed.

And I’d like to offer up a big thank you to everyone for the support thus far. It’s been powerful. Oh, and I love you! Be well.

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  1. I felt this may interest some of your would be voters. Just to show how you avoid the real issue when asked. You have that skill down pat. And for some one you have told you think is less intelligent than yourself I sure seem to be able to get under your skin with the truth. Facebook communications between Josh and myself.
    David Johnson
    Josh, Even though you were the only one that ran an article about my issue I still think it would be a mistake for you and the community to elect you a Commissioner. I can’t prove it but I’m betting the reason for the sudden change towards me has something to do with Stephan Wade either bulling you or buying you off. Either one is not what is needed for a Commissioner or any other public office.
    Dude. No one bullied me (we get no advertising from them, not before or since) so you’re wrong there. We ran your letter, because that’s what we do. But you never turned in another publishable piece, my friend. Just the same story, different phrasing. We don’t just run multiple letters from anyone about the same thing over and over. That’s all it was. Pretty simple.

    So you’re welcome for running your letter. Again, it’s what we do for the community. I hope someday you will understand that. We never cave to an advertisers wish or bullying (have you seen how much we beat up on Dixie state, one of our largest advertisers, over and over again?) They still advertise and their requests that we “go easy on them” fall on deaf ears. We just tell them to stop doing stupid things and we’ll stop pointing it out. Bro, you signed an agreement your shouldn’t have. You’re fault. We gave you an avenue to vent. Again, you’re welcome. But you’re barking up the wrong tree. We are not your tool or weapon. And your anger is misdirected at me and probably at stephen wade as well. You should take some responsibility. You’re a grown man. You signed the forms. You should be petitioning the state to change the laws, imho. So I wish you the best. Peace and love.
    David Johnson
    Dude, then why did you go from telling me I could do anything I wanted with your logo. Even when I told you I was going to put on my picket sign. To take it off right now I don’t want people to think we are associated in any way. Bro, didn’t you want free advertising showing people that if they want to here about stories that other papers won’t run they can go to The Independent? Dude, my article got more views than almost any other story you ran I guess you don’t want that type of exposer? Bro, you have no idea what this is all about. If you want the whole story go to the FBII MAN on YouTube. And on a personal note quit trying to act like you know anything about an era that you weren’t even alive for. It just makes you look like a fool.
    You need to breathe brother. Do some yoga. Relax. You fight your battles and I’ll fight mine. I don’t need your approval and as usual I don’t know what you’re even talking about.

    We don’t need free advertising. The Independent is the widest read publication in our market. And we just had our two biggest months ever.

    And it wasn’t a story we ran. We didn’t do a story. We weren’t willing to do a story and none of the other publications were either, because there wasnt a story there. Just one unhappy guy who signed something he shouldn’t have. That’s not a story. It was a letter to the editor. Something I’m sure the other publications would have run too, but they are terribly inarticulate. You should have your wife or somebody edit them before you submit them. They are unpublishable, somebody needs to tell you that. That’s the main reason we can’t publish them. They are rough drafts, at best. The key to writing is rewriting. We fixed so much in your one piece to be able to publish it. We can’t do that over and over again and no other publication is willing to do it even once, apparently.

    I wish you the best of luck but seriously. Get some help. Help with your writing. Help with your plight. Maybe a councilor. Do some meditating. Chill. With respect. Be well.
    David Johnson
    Your just a poor little boy that has never grown up and never will. I don’t have to write very well to screw up your chances of becoming a commissioner. I just have to write the truth. That you so skillfully avoided when replying to my comments.
    Ha! David. Seriously. You are being a child. Your threats are hollow. Again, you are welcome for publishing your letter. I don’t owe you anything. You can either vote for me in November because you know I’m honest and the best candidate, or don’t, that’s up to you. Good day.
    David Johnson:
    For someone that thinks so little of my point of views you sure seem annoyed by what I have to say. You don’t have any idea of what it means to represent others. You are only concerned about yourself and thats why I wouldn’t vote for you. We already have enough greedy and amoral elected officials in office we don’t need another one.

    I’m sure there will be many of you that think that I’m just being bitter. If that were the case what is my motive? I no longer live in St. George so why should I care about Josh? I don’t care about Josh I care about doing what is right. And giving people this information so that they can make an informed decision is the right thing to do. Josh has shown (to me) that he can be two faced. He was the one that approached me and asked to here my story. And after herring my story he wanted to do a story about my concerns. If he felt that I was totally at fault why did he give me a way to “vent”? Sounds like a good way to sell papers to me. That’s why I feel he is all about the money. He has no idea of what morals or integrity are otherwise why publish something he feels has no merit.
    If you chose to vote for him don’t be surprised when he starts going against everything he claims to be for now. He is just like all other politicians. They know what we want to here but when it comes right down to it their all about the Benjamin’s. Voters beware. This man represents only himself.

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