Opinion nuggets: Gochnour for gov…Ben the Republican?…Legacy Parkway restrictions

An excellent candidate for governor. The prospect of a wide-open governor’s race in 2020 has a number of prospective candidates already maneuvering for position. Several names have been mentioned by the “great mentioners” as possible candidates.

One name that I haven’t heard, but that should be on the list, is Natalie Gochnour. She has the policy chops, the communications skills, and certainly the smarts, to be a terrific governor. She’s a trained economist, ran former Gov. Mike Leavitt’s policy and communications operations, went with Leavitt to Washington where she worked at top levels of the EPA and HHS. She was a top leader at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, and currently runs the Gardner Policy Institute and associate business dean at the University of Utah.

She in an excellent manager and knows how to run big operations, is incredibly knowledgeable about the issues facing the state, understands the state budget, and communicates very effectively.

I’d like to see Gochnour in the mix of gubernatorial candidates. At the very least, she should be on every candidate’s shortlist for lieutenant governor. Any candidate who can convince her to join the ticket would enjoy a big advantage.

Gochnour ultimately may not be interested. But she ought to consider it and she ought to be considered a serious contender.

Ben McAdams’ political future. Here’s one way for Ben McAdams to win a lot of elections in his Republican-leaning district: Become a Republican.

That’s not going to happen any time soon, especially with Democrats in charge of the House. But, long-term, it could be a possibility for McAdams. Many members of Congress have switched parties.

If the Democrats take a hard turn to the left, as is entirely possible, McAdams could become very uncomfortable within his party. He’s a moderate Democrat and could easily become a moderate Republican – fitting nicely with his district.

Trucks & higher speeds on Legacy? A lot of controversy exists regarding the future of Legacy Parkway – whether big trucks and higher speeds should be allowed when current restrictions expire a year from now.

Legislation may be introduced in the upcoming legislative session to extend the truck ban and possibly the speed limit. That will be hotly opposed by some legislators.

Here’s how to solve the disagreement:  Let the professionals decide. Utah has some really smart transportation professionals who can determine how Legacy Parkway can best be used to keep traffic flowing smoothly in Davis County.

Rather than making a political decision, let UDOT do a study and whatever makes the most sense for good mobility – do it.