(KCPW News) Democratic Salt Lake County Council Candidate Paul Pugmire came out swinging against Republican incumbent Michael Jensen in a debate held this afternoon. After citing a Tribune article that revealed Jensen misses about 30 percent of council meetings, Pugmire asserted that his opponent didn't do enough to stop the Jordan School District split.
"This is an item he campaigns on as being a strength of his record. I take exactly the opposite view. If this were a strength of his record, I might not be in this race today," he said. "I view it as a failure of his record, because, yes he cast the correct vote, yes he whined a little, but then he took his ball and went home in the seventh inning, before the game was done."
Pugmire said if Jensen had appealed directly to east side voters, they would have voted against the split.
Jensen responded that despite being the only council member who lives west of I-15, he was able to convince the council to vote against the split. He noted that the legislature was ultimately responsible for putting the split on the ballot.
"The speaker of the house lives on that side of the Jordan School District, so, yeah, he is able to force his will up on the Hill on occasion. And that was one of them in which he did, unfortunately," said Jensen. "But at the county council where I have the authority to impact school districts, absolutely we stopped it. It didn't go on the ballot from my council. It got put on the ballot by the legislature."
As for missing council meetings, Jensen noted that as council chairman, he has to represent the county on several other boards and to the state legislature as well. Today's debate was part of a series of candidate forums held at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.
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