In 2006, XMission CEO Pete Ashdown challenged U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch for his Senate seat. While not victorious, the Democrat garnered about a third of the vote—a strong showing when up against a senator-for-life. Ashdown continues to track local politics, recently asking Salt Lake City mayoral candidates to answer a questionnaire and posting their answers at PeteAshdown.org/Journal. Subsequently, Ashdown endorsed Ralph Becker. As the primary approaches on Sept. 11, we asked Ashdown for advice for the mayoral front-runners:
Keith Christensen: Party affiliation? Make a decision and answer the question with pride regardless of where you come down. There are respectable reasons to belong to any party or no party at all, even if it’s not popular where you are running.
Jenny Wilson: Free parking is not an answer for downtown. Having this idea come off the cusp of a business tour makes me wonder where it came from.
Dave Buhler: Sorry, Dave, no fiber-optics to my house means there isn’t fiber available to all of Salt Lake City. Sometimes, the private sector does a lousy job.
Ralph Becker: Ralph talks about the job without fire or passion. However, I think that someone with concrete plans and acumen for dealing with the Legislature is what we need more than anything right now.
John Hughes: J.P. did a wonderful job in the one debate I’ve attended so far. He answered questions directly and honestly. I wish he had taken the time to answer my questionnaire that I sent him.
Note: Salt Lake City mayoral candidates not mentioned above include John Renteria, Ranier Huck, Quinn Cady McDonough and Robert Muscheck. Also, Jenny Wilson is the stepdaughter of City Weekly Editor Holly Mullen.