A Deseret News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates in late March found that among Senate District 10 registered voters, 67 percent said it is time to let someone new serve, and among only GOP voters in District 10, 54 percent said it was time to elect a new senator....Don't look for the new state senator to vote very differently from Buttars, but there should be less in-your-face anti-gay/evolution/etc. bills from that seat. A quiet conservative.
Buttars said he's well aware of the "three or four" delegate meetings that have, and will, exclude him. "It is very tacky — to have a meet-the-candidate night and not invite all the candidates," Buttars said. But he's still working hard, holding breakfasts, lunches and dinners with delegates, and finding nearly all of them willing to listen to him.
He didn't want to talk about how delegates are receiving him, especially what he is hearing or not about his black baby comments. "Yes, I believe I'll come out of the convention," said Buttars, 66.
Challenger Armstrong pointed to a Deseret News analysis that showed Buttars was second to last in the Senate when it comes to effectiveness in passing bills this past session. He said the delegates he talks to are sending the message: "We definitely need someone new in there." But it's not solely because of the controversy surrounding him. "It's more content-based than the black baby comment," he said. "They just don't feel like the image he portrays is what they want portraying them."
Hilton said that when Buttars went into "hiding" after his stumble during the end of the 2008 session, there were a number of important votes he missed, including a vote on a school district split bill. The Jordan School District and Buttars' District 10 went through a controversial district split in 2007. And Hilton said while she didn't oppose the original school district law passed recently by the Legislature, she does oppose how the Jordan District split vote was done. She also opposed private school vouchers, while Buttars supports them. Vouchers were voted down by citizens last November.
"You can't miss votes like that," said Hilton, who is in her third term on the council. "No matter what happens, you can't run away and hide."
Another candidate, Smith-DeRusha, said the district is looking for someone "who will get something done, as opposed to standing on a pulpit." She pointed to Buttars' so-called message bills, such as his attempt at barring Salt Lake City from initiating a domestic partner registry. That effort failed and lawmakers instead approved guidelines for such registries.
"I don't need another message bill, I want someone to do something for the west side," Smith-DeRusha said. "It's time to elect a true conservative."
PS Happy Passover!