House District 75 candidates Chacon, Ipson, and Hinton on priorities, legislative goals

ST. GEORGE – The Utah House of Representatives District 75 election races, one of four in Washington County, presents three candidates with differing ideas but a common goal: To effectively represent the people of Southern Utah.

The candidates for District 75 are Democrat Cimarron Chacon, the incumbent, Republican Don L. Ipson and Randall Hinton of the Constitution Party. St. George News contacted all three to ascertain their most critical campaign issues, as well as their opinions on the Public Lands Transfer Act, which derived from House Bill 148 during the 2012 General Session and the proposed Lake Powell pipeline.

House District 75 candidate Cimarron Chacon, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Cimarron Chacon

Cimarron Chacon

Chacon holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design and architecture from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Utah State University. She has two grown children, four grandchildren and lives in Washington County with her husband, two dogs and a cat. An advocate for keeping physically fit, she participates in ultra-endurance cycling events in her spare time.

Prior to entering politics, Chacon worked for the Bureau of Land Management Recreation and Tourism Planning department. In 1999, she moved to Washington County to become a landscape architect for the BLM. She also worked as a private land planning consultant from 2006 to 2008, handling projects ranging from sustainable community design to pipeline mitigation to native plant presentation.

Chacon is passionate about all aspects of Washington County and her main motivation to run for District 75 is to secure and improve the quality of life for its residents. She believes that changing lifestyles in the area have given Democratic candidates a strong chance of winning this election, and that she is the candidate for a more balanced and prosperous future.

Question: Why do you believe you would be an effective leader for District 75?

Answer: Chacon said that her experience as a land planner and small business owner in Washington County has provided her with three valuable legislative tools: A comprehension of government at the federal, state and local levels, understanding of Southern Utah’s people and resources and problem-solving abilities, which she said is something current government in the area is lacking.

“I am the most prepared and experienced for the job,” she said. “I understand every square inch of Washington County.”

Question: What is your stance on HB 148 and the proposed Lake Powell pipeline?

Answer: Chacon is firmly against HB 148.

“It would decimate the (local) economy and I think it should be repealed,” she said. “It’s incredibly bad legislation.”

Her opposition to the pipeline is not as strong, yet Chacon feels that approving the project is not in Southern Utah’s best interest.

“Quite simply, it costs too much,” she said. “We need to rethink the proposal. We need to step back and look at our (current) water usage and options that will sustain us for the future without bankrupting us.”

Question: What aspect of your campaign sets you apart from other candidates?

Answer: If she is elected, one of Chacon’s top priorities will be establishing public transportation to better serve Washington County. Her goal is to create a bus route that will connect the county’s residents, from Ivins to Springdale. She also supports creating more bike lanes and walking paths.

Additionally, Chacon said that she will put her experience in recreation and tourism economics to good use by helping boost the local tourism industry.

“I know how to bring tourism here,” she said.

House District 75 candidate Don L. Ipson, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Don L. Ipson

Don L. Ipson

A successful local businessman, Ipson founded DATS Trucking in 1988 and currently serves as its president and Chief Executive Officer. He holds a degree in accounting and business administration from the LDS Business College and is a past president of the Southern Utah Trucking Association, Utah Trucking Association and Washington County Economic Development Committee. He lives in St. George with his wife, JoAnn.

The incumbent, Ipson is seeking a third team at the helm of District 75. He is a member of the Business and Labor Interim Committee, Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee, Retirement and Independent Entities Committee, among others. He believes that experience in both business and government are his main advantages in this election race.

Question: Why do you believe you would be an effective leader for District 75?

Answer: A two-term incumbent, Ipson said that his legislative experience gives him an advantage in this election.

“I’ve been able to listen to the people and I work very hard to represent (their) wishes,” he said. “When people have had legislation they needed changed, I’ve been effective in doing that. I also work well with my fellow legislators.”

Question: What is your stance on HB 148 and the proposed Lake Powell pipeline?

Answer: Ipson supports HB 148 “wholeheartedly.”

“I believe that states have the right to their land,” he said. “We’ve been locked out of that land in many cases and it’s time that the federal government gives (it back.)”

Ipson also supports the pipeline concept and said that legislators need to continue exploring it, and soon.

“Our water supply is decreasing every day,” he said. “If we don’t invest in water infrastructure (for) our community, we will shortchange generations to come.”

Question: What aspect of your campaign sets you apart from other candidates?

Answer: Ipson has opened a bill file that will assist the process of Dixie State College of Utah to obtain university status in the near future.

“Nothing is more important to the economic success of this community than a trained, knowledgeable workforce,” he said. “It’s critical that we keep students and dollars here.”

House District 75 candidate Randall Hinton, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Project Vote Smart

Randall Hinton

A native of Hurricane, Hinton works as a network administrator. He currently lives in Veyo with his wife and six children.

Hinton ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2010 under the Constitution Party banner. He is an advocate for small, locally-controlled government. His goal is to bring more power to individual citizens, with the campaign motto, “The government that governs best governs least.”

As this article goes to publication, Hinton has not yet responded to the invitation of St. George News to be interviewed.

For additional information on all candidates, visit their official campaign websites.

Cimarron Chacon

Don L. Ipson

Randall Hinton

Map showing the four House districts in Washington County

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.


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