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A familiar name — Wilson — is carrying Salt Lake County Democrats' hopes of retaining the at-large County Council seat held by Randy Horiuchi since the position came into being in 2001.

County Republicans, who hold a narrow 5-4 edge on the council, are trying to wrest the six-year slot away with a political newcomer who adheres to traditional GOP values of limited government best served by staying out of people's lives.

Micah Bruner, a 36-year-old attorney from West Valley City, will be the GOP's standard-bearer in the Nov. 4 election against Jenny Wilson, who is eager to return to the council, where she previously served from 2005 to 2011.

"I like what county government does, the variety, the community," said Wilson, 49, ticking off the county's involvement in fields as diverse as aging services, transportation and mental health. "I like the at-large position because I believe what happens in Midvale matters in West Valley City and Salt Lake City and vice versa in terms of building a good regional community."

Bruner said he does not have a specific action agenda if elected, preferring to spend some time developing a list of things that could be done more efficiently. But, in general, he added that he is a fiscal conservative who believes ardently "government should not encroach on personal property rights."

"I will fight to ensure that our government remains restrained in what it is willing to undertake," Bruner said. "With so much growth coming, there will be pressure to attempt to expand the role of government in our lives."

A graduate of West High and the University of Utah, he received his law degree at Brigham Young University and spent a year as a law clerk in Alaska before returning to the Beehive State to set up his own practice in Sandy. Bruner and his wife are the parents of three young children.

Wilson also has lengthy community ties, growing up the daughter of former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson before receiving a bachelor's degree in communication from the U. and a master's in public administration from Harvard.

She was chief of staff to the late Rep. Bill Orton, a director of volunteers at the 2002 Winter Olympics, an advocate for Voices for Utah Children and executive director of institutional advancement for Moran Eye Center. An unsuccessful candidate for Salt Lake City mayor in 2007, she and her husband have two sons.

All of those experiences, along with her former tenure on the council, have convinced Wilson that she has the background, patience and understanding to "jump right back into" council business.

She has established several priorities — expanding open space, improving air quality, developing fields for youth sports, elevating the provision of mental health services to those who need it, and protecting and managing the canyons. Wilson noted that she opposed Ski Link, which would have connected Solitude to Canyons Resort outside of Park City but has gone dormant in light of bigger ski-industry changes.

"My bias is toward preservation," she said.

Bruner said he understands the need to provide a balance between protecting canyon environment and helping ski resorts to make money for themselves and the county.

"Take away the canyons and we have very little tourism," he said, applauding the county's FCOZ (Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone) ordinance as a good approach to limiting development in sensitive areas while respecting the rights of private property owners.

Above all, Bruner said, the county needs to help develop a better transportation system for the canyons so that "we can get more people up there with fewer trips."

He also advocates more transit in the Salt Lake Valley, contending the county should encourage Utah Transit Authority to develop more bus routes to accommodate east-west traffic.

Wilson has a sizable fundraising advantage over Bruner.

Through mid-September, when candidates filed their last disclosure statements, Wilson had secured $99,200 and spent $55,675. Bruner had paid out $15,405 of the $15,822 he had raised.

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