Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Meet Steven Baugh for House District 58

Ex-Alpine superintendent to run as Democrat
By Amy K. Stewart
Deseret Morning News

OREM — Former Alpine schools chief Steven Baugh has announced his candidacy for the state Legislature on the Democratic ticket.

"It's time to stand up for the things we value — the education of our children, our quality of life and the opportunity for everyone to enjoy the American dream," Baugh said, speaking to a crowd of about 50 people in Orem on Tuesday.

A former district superintendent and currently a professor at Brigham Young University, Baugh, 62, is the only Democrat to announce his candidacy in Utah County so far. The filing deadline is in March.

Democrats don't hold a single elected office in Utah County.

Baugh, who received a standing ovation following his speech, said he has been disappointed lately in the status quo. And there are some Utah County residents who are feeling the same way.

Several people interviewed at Tuesday's announcement event said they have decided within the last few months to leave the Republican Party to become a Democrat.

"I've been a Republican all my life until about two months ago," said Wayne Crabb, 60, of Cedar Hills.

"You just can't have a system that is all Republican or all Democrat," Crabb said. "There is a reason the government has been set up the way it has with both Democrats and Republicans."

Claralyn Hill, 59, of Provo, said she switched several months ago.

"I think we need a two-party system down here (in Utah County). A two-party system is very healthy. And I think a lot of other people are feeling this way," Hill said.

"It's a wave of feeling we need to retake our government and our community," she said.

Claudia Reid, 63, of Orem, said she isn't switching political parties — but is supporting Baugh.

"We need a better balance in the Legislature. We need a two-party system in there. And Steve (Baugh) will do that. He will get the job done," Reid said.

Richard Davis, chairman of the Utah County Democratic Party, said a Democrat running in Utah County is "very big," and he feels Baugh "will be a great candidate and a great state legislator."

Baugh's opponent, Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, said he was "a little surprised he would throw his hat into the ring against me."

Sandstrom, who represents House District 58, says he welcomes the challenge.

He added: "I'm confident the district will stick with a Republican to represent them."

During his speech, Baugh made reference to the recent voucher debate and his displeasure with theLegislature for voting on bills last session that launched the issue.

The eventual result was a referendum on whether $500 to $3,000 per child of state money should be used for private schools.

The proposal was downed in November's election.

Baugh says he will listen to the people and what they want.

"Tell me what your concerns are. Tell me what you're worried about and what you think the stateLegislature ought to be doing about it," he said.

To emphasize his point, Baugh announced his cell phone number to the crowd: 801-602-1681.

Baugh is an associate professor at BYU and directs a school-university partnership center in the university's school of education. He has lived in Orem for 35 years. He and his wife, Cathy, have raised eight children there.

Voucher backer inspires challenge
By Donald W. Meyers
The Salt Lake Tribune

State Rep. Steve Sandstrom's position on school vouchers has inspired a high-profile challenger 10 months before the election: former Alpine School District superintendent Steven Baugh.

Baugh announced Tuesday that he will run as a Democrat in House District 58 against the first-term Orem Republican.

Baugh said Sandstrom and the GOP-dominated Legislature's decision to support vouchers was proof lawmakers were not representing Utah residents.

"When the Legislature put vouchers in place, two-thirds of the people voted against it," Baugh said. "In Utah County, 53 percent of the voters were against vouchers and only 47 percent were in favor," yet the Utah County delegation voted for them.

Sandstrom insisted he did reflect his constituents' desire on the question.
"Vouchers passed my legislative district," Sandstrom said. "To say I am not responding to the people is wrong."

A Tribune analysis in November found Sandstrom's district was one of the rare ones where a majority of voters backed vouchers.

But during his last campaign, Sandstrom was an avowed voucher opponent who received $4,700 from the Utah Education Association, which also mobilized union volunteers to go door-to-door on his behalf.

Sandstrom, though, said he didn't flip-flop on the issue. He said he wouldn't vote against vouchers if it were proven that public education would not be harmed by them. The voucher bill had a provision to offset any losses to school districts for five years.

Sandstrom said vouchers were needed to educate Utah's rapidly growing school population without raising taxes dramatically. He noted that he was also able to secure $28 million in funding for elementary school reading programs.

Baugh said public education needs help, but vouchers are not the answer.


Davis Didjeridu said...

The Des News article is wrong when it says that Baugh is the only Democrat to announce their run in Utah County. Bryan Horn announced his run against Craig Frank in District 57 on August 18 last year. She also misstates that no Democrats represent Utah County; Mike Dmitrich's district gerrymanders into Utah County, so he represents some UC residents.

Anonymous said...

This is great! We need more candidates like future Rep.Baugh.

CraigJ said...

Good catches, davis didjeridu.

Richard Davis is lighting it up down there!

I had the privilege of meeting Steve Baugh during the voucher debate. He is a man of integrity and sound judgment. If he is elected he will rise to leadership positions quickly. I'm very excited to hear about his candidacy and hope to knock on a few doors for him in Happy Valley.

Anonymous said...

He should run for governor.

Anonymous said...


Ralph said...

I hope Steve Baugh does represent his constituents and supports vouchers as it passed in Rep Sandstrom's legislative district.

Anonymous said...

The man who brought us Investigations Math. Thanks Mr. Baugh.

Fed up in Utah County said...

Good for Baugh,

Living in Utah County, I completely concur that checks and balances are needed. The Republican candidates are more beholden to their small caucus and party chairs than they are to the people because they know their vote is secure with the people. They just need to get past the caucus. Crazy and not at all what the founding fathers had in mind.

Benedict said...

Stake President? Man of God? BYU? Wow, that clinches it, position filled.