Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Meet Gwyn Franson

Mayor's wife to run for Legislature
By Catherine Smith
Deseret Morning News

HIGHLAND — She's not Hillary Clinton — even though she will be running as a Democrat.

Gwyn Franson, a former member of the Highland City Council and wife of the current mayor, announced Tuesday she will run for the District 27 seat in Utah's House of Representatives. That district covers Highland and some of American Fork.

"I will run as a Democrat because I believe the Democrats are now the moderate, mainstream party in Utah County," Franson said.

Franson, who is the second person in as many weeks to announce a candidacy on the Democratic ticket, said she believes healthy governments need a partisan system that works. She echoed Mitt Romney's statement that "Utah is overwhelmingly Republican."

Democrats don't hold elected office in Utah County.

Franson wants to fix problems she sees in the state government. As a school teacher, Franson said she has a desire to change the lives of children through education.

"We need a state Legislature that is as good for education as the teachers in the classroom," she said.

Several dozen family and friends supported the school teacher during her announcement at the American Fork Library.

Carilee Harper, who ran as a Democrat for the Utah Senate, said she thinks Franson is courageous to run as a Democrat in Republican-dominated Utah County.

Another friend of Franson said her experience and success as a councilwoman in Highland proves that she will be successful as a legislator.

"Gwyn needs a pat on the back because I think Highland city is one of the finest cities in northern Utah County," said Marilyn Kofford, a friend of Franson's and the PTA education commissioner.

Kofford told a story of her nephew who struggled in school and she decided to help tutor him. Her nephew's teacher, Franson, worked with Kofford and her nephew to help him improve and succeed.

"I watched a teacher care about one child that struggled," Kofford said. "She cares about individuals. I think she will be a marvelous candidate."

Franson said, "I believe it's time to challenge the status quo in the state Legislature and to inject fresh new ideas into that body I will campaign hard. I will listen to you. I hope to represent you."

Photo: Gwyn Franson, a former member of the Highland City Council, announces her plans to run for a seat on the state Legislature. (Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News)

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