This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Al Jackson, a business consultant and former aerospace lobbyist, was chosen by Utah County Republican delegates Saturday to fill a vacancy in the Utah Senate, narrowly edging out former Rep. Ken Sumsion by a single vote.
Jackson's name will be forwarded to Gov. Gary Herbert, who will appoint him to fill the remaining term of former Sen. John Valentine, who was appointed as chairman of the Utah Tax Commission.
Jackson will become the third African-American to serve in the Utah Senate. Democratic Sen. Terry Williams served from 1983 to 1986 and Republican Sen. James Evans who is currently chairman of the Utah Republican Party was appointed to fill a vacancy and served from 2003 to 2004.
Jackson owns a consulting company that provides guidance to clients on leadership, business development and sales. Until 2007, he was a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., representing Boeing, Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corp., Northrop Grumman, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
On his campaign Web site, Jackson said his time working in Washington taught him that the nation's problems are rooted in D.C., and he would fight for local governments to have more control.
During the course of his campaign, Jackson committed to working to help Utah take control of federal lands and to encourage energy development. He said he would oppose any federal education standards and fight cumbersome federal environmental regulations.
Jackson teaches classes on the Constitution and the Founders original intent and serves on several advisory boards, including the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business National Advisory Committee.
He finished with 140 delegate votes to Sumsion's 139. Ninety-one of the delegates in Senate District 14 did not vote in the special election. Jackson finished behind Sumsion in both the first and second rounds of voting, but picked up enough support from the delegates who were dropped from contention former Rep. Steve Sandstrom and current Rep. Keven Stratton to move ahead of Sumsion in the final vote.
Jackson and his wife, Juleen, have five children and live in Highland.