BRIGHAM CITY - By Cari Doutre - March 9, 2020
Greg Hughes, one of eight Republican candidates running for Utah governor this year, has made so many stops throughout Utah on the campaign trail that he can’t remember the exact amount.
That’s how much he wants to be the next governor of Utah.
Standing behind the official Hughes for Governor campaign logo, “Get it Done,” it’s Hughes’ work ethic and determination to make a difference for all of Utah that really drives him.
Hughes is full of energy, ideas and isn’t afraid to speak the truth – something he prides himself in admitting. He also has the much-needed experience to take on the role of governor of Utah.
Hughes served on the Utah House of Representatives from 2002-2018 and was Speaker of the House from 2015-2018. Throughout his time in the legislature he fought hard for issues he felt passionate about including education reform, standing up for U.S. Veterans and fighting Obamacare, just to name a few.
One of those tough issues he tackled was taking the lead in Operation Rio Grande in 2017. This effort to combat crime and homicide in an open-air drug market in Salt Lake City led to Hughes to get up close and personal with the issue.
Setting up a command post in the middle of the area, state lawmakers, elected officials and others had an opportunity to witness the rampant crime in the area. It was an operation led by Hughes but a joint effort by many.
The seriousness of Operation Rio Grande was too much for just one agency or organization to tackle. It became a combined effort between multiple agencies and multiples resources all working together to find a solution. They did just that.
“Some of that was trying to change to a new model of self reliance and resource centers,” Hughes said.
“The best way to help people is to know what their story is and what they are going through so you can help,” he added.
Hughes admits that Operation Rio Grande was one of the most difficult things he has worked on as a state legislator.
“There’s some other ones that were pretty impactful in different ways. Everything that is impactful, I can tell you, is controversial. It just is,” he said. “You get a lot of grief when you try to do bigger and more impactful things.”
After his term was up at the end of 2018, Hughes didn’t seek re-election in the state’s legislature. Over a year later, on Jan. 8, 2020, Hughes officially announced he was running for governor of Utah.
Since then Hughes has hit the campaign trail hard. What he’s found out along the way is that there’s a lot more going on in Utah than he knew - and he wants to hear and learn all about it.
On Wednesday, March 4, Hughes made his second visit to Box Elder County this year hosting a town hall meeting in Brigham City for the public to come meet him, hear his thoughts on current issues and ask him questions.
And those questions came for Hughes – everything from medical cannabis in Utah, growth in rural Utah, Second Amendment rights and even what he really thinks about Utah Senator Mitt Romney. It was just one of many town hall forums Hughes has hosted so far this year.
Hughes’ position on legal medical cannabis in Utah? He’s for it.
Growth in Utah? It’s happening and rural Utah will play a major role in it.
Hughes’ thoughts on Second Amendment rights?
“I’m pro Second Amendment. I don’t think the right to bear arms is a recreational issue, it’s not a hunting issue, it’s a sovereignty issue,” Hughes said. “I fundamentally believe the right to bear arms is in there to protect our other constitutional rights and freedoms.”
And what about President Donald J. Trump?
“I support President Trump. I know that’s not popular in every circle. I know people that don’t like that, but I support him now and when he was a candidate in 2016, I supported him,” Hughes stated.
“I have since then supported him through the media witch hunts, the impeachment and all the other drama this President has lived through,” he added. Hughes also praised President Trump for what he’s accomplished for Utah and the country.
Hughes strategically answered one question when asked what he thinks about Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
“I can promise you this. What you heard tonight, if I’m your governor you won’t wake up one day and see something completely different. I’m telling you, you will not. You won’t see it be different. What I am telling you is the truth,” Hughes replied. “You’re not going to be surprised by me.”
“That’s my judicious attempt. If you want more, you’re not going to get more,” he added.
Adding a little humor to the topic when teased about side swiping his answer, Hughes joked, “I thought I tried to answer it artfully!” To which he got a laugh from the audience.
The next step for Hughes will be the Utah primary election on June 30, 2020, to determine which Republican candidate gets the final nomination on the general election’s ballot. Election Day is Nov. 3, 2020.
For more information on Hughes and his campaign visit the official Hughes for Governor website at: https://greghughes.com/