The US presidential election is nearing and a spark has begun to ignite among many Salt Lake Community College students. For the first time in recent history Utah will have two candidates competing for the republican party nomination for president.
Mitt Romney, former CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor have both submitted their names for the republican nomination.
Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright told the Salt Lake Tribune, “I think it’s very exciting for Utah republicans to have two front running candidates for president,” Wright said. “I mean it’s rare for Utah to be in the center of a presidential election, and this year we’re right in the middle of it. … They’re going to be competing fort the same supporters in Utah because they have strong ties to Utah, and I think it will be interesting to see where some of those supporters go.”
According to many Salt Lake Community College students the support is spread evenly between both candidates.
“My vote today would be for Romney,” SLCC student Taylor Byington said. “I think he’s perfect for our country right now. His business is fixing a bad business and nothing needs more fixing today than the United States and its economy.”
While Byington feels Romney is the right choice others feel Huntsman is a better one.
“During his term as Governor he did a lot for the state and I think he could do the same for America as a whole,” Jaxon Keller, another SLCC student said.
Not only are the republican candidates Romney and Huntsman sparking voters interest in the state, they also are bringing notoriety to Utah as a place for politics.
Eric Morely a SLCC student and political enthusiast said, “I myself want to get into politics someday. It is motivating to see Utah politicians recognized on a national level, it helps me believe I can one day be in their shoes.”
When asked if having candidates from Utah made a difference in his interest in the election, Morley said, “It absolutely makes a difference to me. In elections past I haven’t known much of the candidates background. I learned about them through various media outlets, but having candidates close to home has really given me a new perspective. It’s almost like I know these men.”
Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman both have close ties to the state of Utah. Most notable, both men are of LDS faith, the same religion for a large majority of Utah citizens.
Along with his faith, Romney may be best remembered for his role in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. As CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Romney was responsible for turning the sporting event into a huge business success.
Huntsman, who was recently called by TIME magazine “the potential republican candidate democrats most fear” was the 16th Governor of Utah and during his term Utah citizens enjoyed the largest tax cuts in the states history.
While many in the state are divided on whom they pledge support to, some refuse to pledge support to either candidate.