SALT LAKE CITY -- With days to go until Tuesday's primary election, Republican candidate for governor Jonathan Johnson unveiled an ambitious list of things he'd accomplish if he's elected governor in November.
Johnson held a news conference Thursday at the Capitol, where he criticized Governor Gary Herbert for refusing to debate him on television. He then laid out his goals, if he were to win the primary and then the general election.
Johnson said if elected governor, in the first 100 days he would:
- Work to implement term limits
- End Common Core education standards and SAGE testing
- Encourage volunteers to help children learn to read in K-3
- Eliminate or reduce corporate income taxes
- Go on a nationwide tour to lure businesses to rural Utah
- Push to repeal SB54, the so-called "Count My Vote" compromise law that allows candidates to signature-gather to get on the ballot
- Sue the federal government for control of public lands in Utah
On the issue of the lawsuit over federal lands, Johnson insisted it was unlikely the state would lose. He said it might also leverage a settlement with the federal government.
"If we lose then we are no worse off than we are today, other than a little lighter in the wallet," Johnson said.
The Utah State Legislature has authorized spending $14 million on such a lawsuit.
"A lot of the things he talks about he wants to do, we're already doing," Gov. Herbert told FOX 13 in an interview Thursday.
Herbert was critical of his Republican challenger's ideas, saying many of them a governor doesn't have the constitutional authority to do.
"Maybe he thinks he's running for king. He's running for governor," Herbert said. "You cannot dictate to the legislature, you cannot dictate to the state school board. A lot of the things he says he's going to do, they need to do."
In the final stretch of the primary election, the campaigns for governor are getting more aggressive. Johnson defeated Herbert at the state GOP convention, but polling shows Herbert with a sizable lead among statewide Republican voters.
Johnson said he was pushing forward.
"This campaign will be in a full-tilt sprint until 8 p.m. on June 28," he said.