Josh WarburtonWhile actively campaigning for my bid to be Washington County’s next commissioner, I have received overwhelming support amidst some skepticism. Many people want to know how I believe I can be successful in becoming the first non-Republican to be elected in Washington County in decades. While I’m under no delusions that this is an uphill climb, many serendipitous occurrences have made this election favorable to me. So this article aims to describe the uniqueness of this particular race and election cycle and why I think I can win it.

First, let me say I believe the two-party system is flawed and, in fact, is responsible for creating a lot of the divisiveness in our country. I am a proud independent, as I have always been since registering to vote at age 18. Many Washington County residents have an independent spirit, and as evidence of that, I point out that four times as many people are registered as unaffiliated voters in Washington County as are registered as Democrats. And interestingly, when you combine those two groups, you get nearly half of all registered voters, an important fact I’ll talk about more next. I have met many southern Utah residents who tell me they vote for the candidate or by the issues and not strictly by party affiliation. Additionally, if Trump’s nomination keeps some voters home in November, the playing field will be leveled even more.

Secondly, as many of you know, in a three-person race (as I am in), I don’t need to get a majority of the votes. I simply need more votes than either the other two candidates. Greg Aldred, a registered Republican, decided to buck the Republican party’s nomination process and run unaffiliated. Running against two Republicans (with no Democrat in the race) will likely ensure that this will be a very competitive race for me, as they will split the Republican voters who I don’t get it. Dean Cox, the Republican nominee, edged out his other competitor by a mere 100 votes in the primary, showing that he does not have a large, strong base of support.

Thirdly, I keep hearing from people of all political slants that I am going to win in November and that I have their support. This campaign has made such a splash and seems to be connecting to people’s independent and innate loving nature. Basically, I seem to be successfully overcoming the hurdle no non-Republican here has been able to clear in recent years, and that’s electability. I like to point out that it is important to remember not only who people are willing to vote for, from a party perspective, but also who they are not willing to vote for. That’s to say there are many Republicans who would consider voting for an independent who would never vote for a Democrat. Whether you consider yourself Republican, Democrat, Independent, unaffiliated, or other, I ask you to consider voting for me on Nov. 8.

Lastly, I grew up all over Washington County, which gives me both unique insight as well as underlying support all over the county. It also certainly helps that I have published The Independent for over 20 years and have performed as a musician locally for over 25 years, giving me a base of name recognition necessary to challenge the status quo. I’ve run my business in a fiscally conservative manner for those two decades, and I believe it shows how I would also run government. While I support the building of a county animal shelter and increasing Sheriff’s officers’ wages to be in line with other municipal departments in Washington County, I do not believe we need to raise taxes to do either of those things; we just need to spend our tax dollars more wisely. My position opposing the lake Powell pipeline and supporting alternative plans to the pipeline is consistent with that as the building of the pipeline would certainly raise water rates, impact fees, property taxes, and state taxes. I would also focus on addressing the parking and transportation issues in the Zion Canyon area, and I would work to reopen the Pah Tempe Hot Springs in the Hurricane/La Verkin area, property now controlled by Washington County.

So in summary, I believe I have the experience, drive, and spirit to be elected in November, and I urge you to check out my positions on important county issues at JoshWarburton.com. Please volunteer, contribute your time, and consider donating to my campaign. Have a great October.

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