This business-led PAC encouraged thousands of people to get involved in neighborhood caucuses, and promoted candidates who will aggressively tackle Utah’s education challenges. The effort is led by co-chairs Nolan Karras, Jesselie Anderson and Bob Marquardt, and over 40,000 Utahns have signed the organization’s call to action.
In assessing the results of the primary elections, Bob Marquardt said, “Education First is pleased by last week’s primary election results. They clearly demonstrate a growing desire for bold and innovative steps that will be needed to achieve the governor’s goal of having 66% of students achieve some type of post-secondary education by 2020.”
The organization points to primary winners like Evan Vickers (SD28); Jake Anderegg (HD06); Steve Handy (HD16); and John Westwood (HD72) as examples of mainstream conservatives with education as a top priority won their races. Other supportive winners include Kevin Stratton in HD48; Ralph Okerlund in SD24; Josie Valdez in SD08; and Edward Redd in HD04, among others.
Nolan Karras, Education First co-chair and former Utah House Speaker, said, “Last Tuesday’s primary results demonstrate that Utahns are concerned about the future of education and understand the connection it has to Utah’s economy.” He added, “Education First is hopeful that these results show that education candidates can win. We heard from many candidates that their constituents expressed a growing concern and support for educational reform, investment and innovation. Utahns are worried about the future of our economy and how an educated workforce plays into that; they voiced that worry with their votes on Tuesday.”
Education First will continue to back candidates who support education in the general election and thereafter. For more information about how citizens can make a difference, visit www.educationfirst.org.