Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Upstart Ryan Wilcox Clobbers Incumbent Glenn Donnelson In Utah House District Seven (North Ogden) Republican Primary Race

The first race to be decided in the June 24th Utah primary election is now in the books. With 100 percent of the votes counted, challenger Ryan Wilcox (pictured above with his family) has clobbered incumbent Glenn Donnelson. Wilcox garnered 61.12 percent of the vote, while Donnelson straggled home with 38.88 percent. Donnelson was one of Voice Of Deseret's favorite lawmakers because of his no-nonsense stand on illegal immigration and his persistent and determined efforts to promote effective legislative solutions. Other Utah primary election results can be accessible HERE.

Media story now published by the Deseret News and the Ogden Standard-Examiner.

Wilcox forced a primary contest by narrowly defeating Donnelson in the Weber County Republican Convention on April 12th, 45 delegates to 44. However, as the campaign evolved, it became apparent that Wilcox's earlier victory was not a fluke.

(1). Wilcox was well-organized and adequately financed from Day One. He had a campaign website up and running from the beginning.

(2). Wilcox successfully portrayed Donnelson as a one-trick pony, highlighting what may have been an excessive preoccupation with immigration issues to the exclusion of other items pertinent to the district. However, after the election, Wilcox soft-pedaled this difference, instead attributing his victory more to "shoe leather".

(3). Wilcox successfully portrayed Donnelson as inadequately responsive to constituents. On several news stories, I read comments by constituents who complained that Donnelson was either slow to respond to their e-mails, or failed to respond altogether.

(4). But the big kicker - which lost the election for him - was when Donnelson refused to show up for a debate with Wilcox on Friday June 13th. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, it was because Donnelson couldn't agree on a format and it was "date night" with his wife. As a result of that decision, Glenn Donnelson will now have many more "date nights" with his wife. The Weber County Forum provides more specific insight on this "debate".

Wilcox reacted with class after his victory, expressing the hope that it wasn't just an anti-Donnelson vote, and proclaiming his intent to build upon the good things that Donnelson did.

Wilcox will now go on to face Democrat Rob Reynolds in the November general election. Reynolds, a Weber State University sociology professor, believes that people in his district need more sensible representation than they have received the last few years, especially in the areas of immigration, education and clean, renewable energy. He has no campaign website; click HERE to view his university bio. There are no other candidates in this race.

Ryan Wilcox, who is LDS, is married to Kristina Beckstrom, and is the father of 3 children: a son Ryder (5), and two daughters, Reagan (3), and Julia (9 months). He attended Weber State University and majored in Commercial Spanish and Political Science. He has worked in agriculture, construction, real estate management, and retail sales and merchandising. For the last seven years he has worked for Sprint Nextel Corp and manages retail stores. As a lifelong Republican, Ryan has served as a State Delegate twice, and a County Delegate once before. During the last Legislative Session he worked as a Legislative Assistant. His work in the latter capacity may have also pushed him over the edge, giving him enough inside knowledge to knock off an incumbent.

Wilcox is a constitutionalist whose areas of strong interest are education reform and realistic immigration reform (which means he's not as hard line as Donnelson). He strongly defends the sanctity of private property and promotes free market solutions as much as possible. Click HERE to read his full platform. He will be good for the district, and in some cases may be an improvement.

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