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Republican Summit County council candidate says government should be doing ‘as little as possible’

Summit County council candidate Holly McClure
Alexander Cramer
Summit County council candidate Holly McClure

Summit County council candidate Holly McClure, who sued the state over COVID-related restrictions, supports limited governments that listen to what their people want.

Holly McClure is trying to become the first Republican since 2014 to be elected to the county’s highest office. She’s running against Councilor Chris Robinson, who has been a member of the council since 2008.

McClure believes in fiscal responsibility and limited government.

When asked exactly how much the government should be doing, she said “as little as possible” beyond its essential functions, which include regulating land use and ensuring public safety.

McClure lives in Park City with her husband and two children. She said she moved here two years ago from the Bay Area, and doesn't want Utah to turn into another California.

McClure is a civil engineer by training and worked for a decade at a large engineering firm. She spent seven of those years in China, mostly as a construction manager. Now, she’s a stay-at-home mom, a vocation she described as very rewarding.

She said she’s a lifelong Republican and believes in the Constitution and personal and individual liberty. Her children were in the Park City School District when it required students who wanted to attend school in person to be tested for COVID-19 regardless of whether they were sick.

McClure and her husband sued state and local school and health officials. And as McClure tells it, they won. She called it a win for all parties involved, saying schools could stay open and parents could continue to voluntarily participate in the testing program. She said everyone has the right to deny or consent to medical treatment, and that decision can’t be coerced by threatening access to in-person education.

McClure said the pandemic is over and it’s not the main reason she’s running for office. She spoke at a council meeting against the county’s emergency declarations, and said she wouldn’t support mask or vaccine mandates. She said it would be up to individuals to make those decisions.

If elected to the council, McClure said she would welcome more public input.

"The people just don't feel like their voice is being heard,” she said.

McClure said there should be more transparency about how the council makes land-use decisions, suggesting the council should go through the same process every time to avoid the appearance of inconsistency. She said there is a perception that some projects are approved and others are denied for reasons that are unclear.

McClure said the council should push back against state interference. She listed several possible ways she thought the county could get around the state law that strongly incentivizes development at Kimball Junction.

She said the council needs members who are “people-focused” and take seriously their oath to protect the Constitution. She took particular issue with governing using emergency declarations, which she said suspend individual rights and upend the governing structure intended by the Constitution, which puts people first.

McClure and Robinson are the only two candidates in the race for Seat D, which will be decided in the general election Nov. 8.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.