ST. GEORGE – Cheryl Hawker is running for Utah House District 75 on the Democratic ticket. She supports continued efforts toward equality in the state while also supporting education and small business. If elected, she vows to be bipartisan as the issues rarely have a single-party solution.
When Hawker filed to run for House 75 in March with fellow candidates, she said, issues related to equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were her No. 1 priority.
“It’s one of the reasons I decided to run as a Democrat,” she said.
Though Amendment 3 and adoption by same-sex parents are no longer an issue in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the case, Hawker said she supports continuing efforts to pass either state or local-level nondiscrimination laws, such as the one proposed by Sen. Steve Urquhart, a Republican from St. George, which would extend housing and employment protections to the LGBT community.
Next year’s legislative session will mark the third time Urquhart has attempted to get the proposed law passed. He believes it’ll pass this year, and so does Hawker. She wants to be in the Legislature to help pass it.
“I have no doubt it’ll go through,” she said.
On small business and education, Hawker tied those together.
As a legislator, Hawker said, she would promote ways to lessen the tax burden on small business owners and also find ways to support a higher median pay for employees.
How does education tie in? Businesses that pay more typically want more educated employees, she said. An educated workforce is also a factor that draws businesses to an area as they look for spots to expand or relocate.
“Education is essential to our progress,” Hawker said. She supported better funding for education and higher pay for teachers, as well as the Common Core standards adopted by the state.
“Common core is wonderful,” she said, adding that Common Core is a list of standards that can improve public education, and not necessarily a curriculum as many of its detractors seem to believe.
Hawker has an opinion on the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, yet is reserving final judgment on the matter for the time being. She wants to see what the final data and overall cost of the possible $1 billion-plus project will be, she said, before committing to a definite yes or no.
She will be that way with other issues as well, she said; that is, bipartisan and as impartial as possible.
“No one can tell me how to feel until I research the issue,” she said. She said she will also allow the legislative process of debate on the floor and testimony by supporters, detractors and constituents play out before reaching a conclusion on legislation placed before her.
Hawker has lived in the St. George area for 35 years and has been a small business owner. Her family own and operates Hawker Enterprises, a general contracting company based out of St. George. She is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Don L. Ipson and Independent American candidate Nihla Judd.
- Incumbent Ipson runs on experience, seeks re-election in District 75
- Judd plans to measure all matters by standard of Constitution
- Gov. Herbert releases results of legal review of Utah’s Common Core Standards
- Sen. Urquhart plans to reintroduce nondiscrimination bill
- Residents meet with district, education officials over Common Core, SAGE testing
- Governor says Utah will recognize same-sex marriage
- Democratic candidates seek to bring different perspective to Utah House, County Commission
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