Three candidates seek to replace Rep. Justin Miller

Posted at 5:35 PM, Oct 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-12 19:50:56-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- So far, three people have declared their intention to replace embattled Rep. Justin Miller.

Just hours after Miller, D-Salt Lake City, announced his resignation from the Utah House of Representatives after pleading guilty to a fraud charge, two candidates publicly announced their intent to seek his seat: Amy Fowler and Christopher Stout. A third candidate, former Rep. Lynn Hemingway, said he plans to seek the seat he gave up in 2014.

Miller pleaded guilty last week to second-degree felony communications fraud, admitting to taking money from the campaign account of his former boss, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Miller said his resignation is effective Nov. 11.

Miller represented House District 40, which encompasses part of the older, blue collar Millcreek area and a little of the liberal-leaning Sugar House neighborhood in Salt Lake City.

"I think there was a fair and just resolution that came out of everything," Fowler said in an interview with FOX 13 on Monday. "Now, what we need to do is move forward."

Fowler said she lost the nomination to Miller in 2014 at the Democratic convention by just one vote. If chosen by the delegates of House District 40 to fill his seat, she outlined a list of legislation including public transportation, health care and education access.

"What we need to do is create some real solutions for actual problems," she said.

Stout, the chairman of the Salt Lake County Progressive Caucus, said if elected, he would push for a minimum wage increase, health care and transit issues.

"I've met a lot of people, I understand where we need to go and how we get there," he said.

Hemingway represented House District 40 for eight years prior to Miller. He left office to move to St. George. Hemingway told FOX 13 on Monday that his relocation plans changed.

"With what has happened with the seat, I felt that I would like to try to get it back," he said. "Because I feel like I can make a difference."

Hemingway pointed to his experience as a legislator on Utah's Capitol Hill, noting he has respect from both sides of the aisle.

"With my experience and my record, if I go back there's no training period," he said. "I'm ready to go the day I walk through the door."

Stout and Fowler said it was time for someone new.

"I think it's time for some new energy," Stout said.

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party announced that the delegates of House District 40 will meet in a special election on Nov. 11 (the same day Miller leaves office) to choose his replacement. The name of the person selected will be advanced to Gov. Gary Herbert for his approval.