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Kane County Commission candidate profiles

Listed by seat, in alphabetical order by last name.

Andy Gant, Commission Seat A

What made you want to run for public office?

My public office career started four years ago when I was first elected to the county commission. I wanted to run because of the values and heritage we’re trying to protect in this county. I saw the good work past commissioners had done, and recognized how unbelievably important the county commissioner role was and is. I wanted to protect and continue all that good work as a legislator, responding to the public and being responsible for the well-being of the county. In this coming election, I am running on my experience and my record. As of this term coming to an end, I am the senior member of this commission. I have four years of experience already. If I were to be voted out, the most senior member of the commission, for all the good work that he does, will have just two years of this experience. This county is facing a crucial moment in its development, with ongoing issues that require urgent resolution, and as Abraham Lincoln said “You don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.”

What do you think is the most critical issue facing your community and how will you address it if elected?

Although there are many tough issues facing the county, the most critical issue is federal overreach. The Biden Administration made quick work of expanding the Monument and now they are working just as aggressively to shut it down. Just like government shutdowns during the pandemic, when they shut down our Monument our economy will suffer right along with it. Jobs that are not hospitality related will immediately decline, and our hospitality industry - our hotels, motels and restaurants - will be soon to follow because of the reduced tourism. Culturally and economically we have to protect our grazing, our ranching, and our agricultural way of life. This very literal shutdown of the Monument by restricting access, closing roads, and taking away the voice of local residents in how their own land is getting used is federal overreach at its worst. I plan to keep fighting it with all the energy I have. My record speaks for itself.

Why do you feel you are qualified for this position?

I have four years of experience as a commissioner. I have many years beyond that of private business experience. I have observably demonstrated in the past that I am fiscally conservative, and I am concerned with the financial health of this county – which has significantly improved since I have been in office. We’re in a better place financially than we have been in many, many years. I run on my record. If anyone has any questions on my qualifications, check the financial records of the county.

Are you for or against the tax reinvestment granted to private developers on the East Zion Project?

For. This was an issue when I ran four years ago. I opposed East Zion as it was designed then, because the health of the county was put at risk by having the taxpayer be ultimately responsible for the funding if the project did not go as planned. The taxpayer was liable in that case, so I refused it. I support it now, because we have removed all obligations on county taxpayers from the plan. It generates huge amounts of revenue for the county, without putting the taxpayer at risk.

Are you for or against the Biden administration’s new management plan for the Monument in Kane County?

To quote the Biden Administration’s proclamation on the Grand Staircase and the Interim Management Plan: “Typical multiple use management is superseded by the direction in Proclamation 10286 to protect monument objects. Multiple uses are allowed only to the extent that they are consistent with the protection of the objects.” Uses are allowed only if they protect historical objects. Quoting the proclamation again: “outdoor recreation, including rock climbing, hunting, backpacking, canyoneering, river running, mountain biking and horseback riding, that are drivers for the local travel and economy. While recreation is an important part of the user experience in Grand Staircase, these activities do not fall into the category of objects for which the monument was designated.” No fear-mongering or exaggeration here. By the federal government’s own documentation, the Grand Staircase is not designated for outdoor recreation, which is a driver for local travel and tourism economy. I’m pro-outdoor recreation. I’m pro-local travel and tourism economy. Therefore I am against the Monument’s designation and management plan as the federal government envisions it. To continue quoting the interim management plan. “The Secretary will retire from livestock grazing the lands covered by such permits or leases pursuant to the processes of applicable law. Forage shall not be reallocated for livestock grazing purposes … Thus, if the BLM denies, or places conditions on, a particular right-of-way grant in order to protect objects, that decision would still conform to the governing resource management plan. That said, in the rare event that there is an actual conflict between the Proclamation and the governing resource management plan, the proclamation controls.” Forage shall not be reallocated for livestock grazing purposes. If there is an actual conflict, the Proclamation, not the BLM controls. By the federal government’s own documentation, the Proclamation on the monument supersedes even the BLM’s management plan. I am pro-grazing. I am pro-local control of local land. Therefore I am against the Monument’s designation and management plan as the federal government envisions it.

What is your plan for economic growth in Kane County?

I support private property rights. There’s an important distinction to make here. We have to strike a careful balance: if you own land, you don’t want your neighbor telling you what to do with your land. But, you also don’t want your neighbor to develop some enormous project that destroys the essence of your neighborhood. So, we need to limit commercial development to areas that reasonably can be developed. For one example, does an area have commercial highway access, or will they drive traffic through our neighborhoods and subdivisions? Kane County’s primary tool for making sure we develop responsibly is good planning and zoning, good consistent infrastructure that can support such a project. If it makes sense for a commercial area to develop commercially, great. If it’s imposing on a residential area like a neighborhood, that plan needs another look. However, it is important to know that many of these decisions, especially in incorporated areas, are outside of the county’s jurisdiction. Issues of power and water utilities aren’t part of the commission or the county’s say.

What else would you like to say to the residents of your community?

I am running because I want to protect what our ancestors created when they moved to Kane County. I’m a transplant. I moved here more than thirty years ago, because Kane County had something special - and I want to see it continue to have that something special. I want that spirit, that culture, that heritage, to continue to exist. I want to see that same Kane County spark twenty years from now, just like I saw it thirty years ago. If you want to see your way of life preserved, your rights to your land in Southern Utah preserved, and your economy continue to flourish under the leadership of the people who live here and care because it’s their land too, write in Andy Gant for Seat A.


Patty Kubeja, Commission Seat A

What made you want to run for public office?

I have been in public service most of my adult life. I saw a need at the county commission level for change. I have 26+ years of proven leadership experience as an Army logistics officer. I know I can provide honest, strong, dedicated and transparent leadership for the residents of Kane County. My main objective as a county commissioner is to be a voice for all citizens of the county and bring honesty and transparency to our local government.

What do you think is the most critical issue facing your community and how will you address it if elected?

I think the most important issue that Kane County citizens are concerned about right now is the sudden rapid growth and development in our county. Southern Utah is growing faster than at any time in its history. Out-of-area, big developers are lining up to build every acre of our private land, if we let them. Growth must be slow, reasonable and managed, so as not to harm our great quality of life here and to make sure we have the resources to support new homes and residents. Like county leaders have done in the past, we must continue to “grow with grace” and not throw away our history and heritage for a few quick bucks.

Why do you think you are qualified for the position?

After serving as an officer in the US Army for 26 years, to include three combat tours and being a jumpmaster in the 82nd Airborne Division, I have proven that I can handle difficult situations. I have many years of proven leadership experience as a senior logistics officer. I am ready to selflessly serve the amazing people of Kane County as your next county commissioner. I am not beholden to anyone, except you: the citizens of Kane County. I will serve the People each and every day that I am in office.

Are you for or against the tax reinvestment granted to private developers on the East Zion Project?

I strongly oppose our current county commissioners agreeing to give up to $97 million (80 percent of all new taxes) back to private developers in the small East Zion Project area in western Kane County. I also oppose the county’s debt service agreement to back up the $25 million in state loans granted to the Zion Mountain Local Service District (ZMLSD) to build a visitor center and a water reclamation system. At the October 6, Utah CIB loa